There I was, hosting our SoDo Mojo Off Day Roundtable on Twitter, connecting with you, our fellow Mariner fans. Topics included Bryce Miller's promotion, reasons for one-run losses, and Tommy La Stella's role on the roster. Well, La Stella is no longer on the roster, but the team still seems a bat short. There is a resounding opinion that five-tool outfielder Cade Marlowe or first baseman Mike Ford should be the answer. You could make a case for either of these players, but for all intents and purposes, we'll focus on a 30-year-old power hitter who is tearing up.
We've highlighted the roster construction issues with this club. Sam Haggerty needs to play more to maximize his effectiveness against left-handed pitching. Despite signs of coming out of the dark offensively, Kolton Wong is still costing the team runs defensively (-6.8 UZR/150) by displaying a weak arm at the pivot, and don't get me started on the ineptitude of the designated hitter spot in the lineup where Tommy La Stella and A.J. Pollock have received a good chunk of the time (85 ABs).
There is little we can do about Wong, and he will probably still end up a 2+ WAR player. You don't give up on those guys, even if they have flaws. Pollock is on a one-year $7M contract, so he isn't going anywhere. Haggerty probably heads to Tacoma when Dylan Moore returns, as the team values his skillset in multiple positions. The team might have to send Haggerty down earlier if their DH production doesn't improve.
Meanwhile, look at Ford's traditional offensive numbers thus far and where he ranks in the Pacific Coast League.
The former Yankee farmhand has bounced between first base and designated hitter for the Rainiers. As we saw this past weekend in Toronto, the current roster construction has Sam Haggerty listed as Ty France's backup. Haggerty has NEVER played the position at any level. He looked awkward over there and made a critical error that cost the team three runs. Ford can and has covered the position for years, can give a struggling Ty France time off his feet, and provide depth to the lineup.
The fact that he is raking is a bonus. AAAA player or not, Mike Ford is immensely better than what they are getting out of the DH spot right now. It's time to upgrade, but don't take my word for it. According to the Twitterverse, the masses have spoken.
Let's see if Servais and to more of an extent President of Baseball Operations, Jerry Dipoto are ready to plug him into the equation.