Carlos Peguero, designated for assignment by Seattle, was traded to Kansas City for the proverbial ‘player to be named later.’ The question is what player. Can George Brett still hit” Can Bret Saberhagen still pitch? I think the answer is no to both. Nor will they get any player on the 40 man roster.
The reason the Mariners will not get much is that Peguero has only hit .195 in 65 Mariner games. He is 6’5″, weighs 260 and has power with a capital P. I saw him hit a few of his nine homers with Seattle and they literally jumped off the bat as if they were shot out of it. One hit the façade in right field so quickly Carlos had barely got of the batters box. I was surprised that the ricochet off the façade did not fly all the way back to home plate. No long majestic homer runs for Carlos. His homers were bullwhipped out of the park.
But he struck out 84 times in 205 at bats. It seems the Mariners considered that a liability though that did not stop them from signing the likes of Russell Branyan and Richie Sexson in the past. Peguero hit 19 homers for Tacoma in 2013, hitting .260 with 83 rbis in 118 games. The potential is still there.
Usually the player to be named later will be a minor league player, who may not have much value. In many cases, the signing team, in this case, Kansas City will send Seattle some cash at some point.
For both Seahawk and Mariner fans, Russell Wilson, Seattle’s Super Bowl quarterback will be featured in a Topps baseball card in late April. It shows him in a Texas uniform (photo shopped) and he is pictured in an at bat ready to swing. I can’t remember if it is a limited run, one of the many subsets that card company issues, but I know it has to do with prospects. Texas admits there is no chance Wilson will play baseball, but it will be a cool card to have. It will look nice next to my football Topps Wilson rookie card.
Baseball fiction, “Loonies in the Dugout” Amazon, $2.99. Based on true story about 1911 New York Giants; Christy Mathewson, Rube Marquard, John McGraw, and the immortal Charley Faust. http://www.amazon.com/Loonies-Dugout-Terry-Nelson-ebook/dp/B00EEN7YNA/ref=la_B00EEVHN38_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391038079&sr=1-
Carlos Peguero, the 26-year old with huge power potential, but even larger strikeout potential, is out of minor league options. He must make the 25 man roster in Spring Training or be put on waivers. However, he may be waived sooner, rather than later, thanks to his wife.
Peguero’s 22 year old wife, Maria, has been charged with three counts of wire fraud. She allegedly made $180,000 in unauthorized charges on a debit card. And guess who the debit card belongs to. None other than Sandra Hernandez, the wife of King Felix. It is bad enough to commit fraud, but using the debit card belonging to the wife of Seattle’s superstar will get your husband his walking papers.
The Mariners can not afford to have something like that hanging between teammates, even though Carlos appeared in only two games this season. He played in 65 games over the past three years. Truthfully he was probably gone anyway. This incident with his wife opens the door wider.
In May of this past season when the Mariners were on a long road trip, Maria spend a few days with Sandra at the Hernandez home in Bellevue. Documents say they spend a lot of time online shopping. But over a 3 and 1/2 month period of time Saks Fifth Avenue was sending purchases to the Peguero’s home in Fife , and the billing was sent to the Hernandez home. Saks became suspicious and an investigation ensued.
Maria is free on bond, but if there is a trial and she is convicted, she could face twenty years in prison.
The Mariners of course, will not comment, and while it was reported that the card belonged to someone within the Mariner organization, an anonymous source, said the card belonged to Sandra Hernandez.
I wonder of Carlos will put Maria on waivers.
What a difference a year makes. In July of 2013 the Mariner roster shows only five non-pitchers who were with the team in July of 2012. Those five are Brendan Ryan, Michael Saunders, Kyle Seager, Dustin Ackley, and Justin Smoak.
The 2012 players who have sailed on are not missed. Trayvon Robinson, though not currently on Orioles active roster, has played 22 games with the Orioles this season, hitting .326. He went to the Orioles for Robert Andino, who is also gone from the Mariners. Nor is Casper Wells doing well. In 32 games with Chicago White Sox he is hitting .182 after going 0-5 with Oakland.
With Brad Miller hitting and fielding like the Mariner shortstop for years to come, Kawasaki, hitting .213 for Toronto does not bring any remorse from his departure. And the Mariners do not miss Miguel Olivo, who hit .203 in 74 at bats with Miami. He is not on current 25-man roster.
There are a couple players doing well.
Mike Carp is with Boston, batting .317 with 8 home runs in 139 at bats. John Jaso is hitting .271 average in 207 at bats with the evil Oakland A’s. Ichiro, though still a good player, is clearly is on the down side of his career, and does not fit with the Mariners current plans.
Carlos Peguero is in Tacoma, as is Jesus Montero, now doing a rehab stint. With Zunino the catcher of the future and with Smoak actually getting hits, Montero who is due for a suspension from MLB at some point for PED’s, could become the invisible Mariner.
And in case you forgot, there was Chone Figgins, currently at home watching TV.
The current roster does look way better than those now departed. But what will the roster of July 2014 look like. It could be that we will be saying the same things about another 10 departed players. That would be scary.
Michael Saunders celebrated his return from his rehab assignment by hitting a home run in the first inning against Baltimore Monday night. His bat and defense will help Seattle, but one must question why Carlos Peguero was send back to Tacoma.
The outfield is Michael Morse, Endy Chavez, and Saunders. When Gutierrez is healthy again, Chavez will either return to Tacoma or head to the bench. Raul Ibanez and Jason Bay are the reserves. The latter two, provide the Mariners with the magic ‘veteran leadership.’ But if the Mariners want the young guys to come through, then Peguero should be in Seattle as the fourth or fifth outfielder.
Peguero was 2 for 6 with a home run in his two games with Seattle. I don’t know what he could do if he played more often with Seattle, but he is sure to hit more than .161, which is what Raul Ibanez is hitting. I know Raul is a fan favorite, is good in the clubhouse, but he is 40 years old and is playing the outfield like a 40-year old. Age has caught up with Raul. He may have a flash or two, but over the long haul Peguero would help Seattle more than Ibanez.
In 2012 Peguero had 56 at bats with Seattle, hitting .179 with 2 homers. Even worse he struck out 50% of the time. In 2011 in 143 at bats, Carlos had 6 homers and hit .196. Not good numbers and the strikeouts are alarming. Still he hit over .161, has more power than Ibanez, and is slightly better defensively.
The sad thing is the choice is between a 40 year old on his last legs who can’t hit and a younger player who strikes out a lot. If Morse or Saunders go down for any length of time, the depth chart for outfielders is scary. At the moment Ibanez and Peguero are bodies, not players. Perhaps the Mariners need to send out an S.O.S.
Franklin Gutierrez strained his hamstring Monday in Houston. It is not unusual for ball players to have injuries, but with Franklin injuries and illness seem to plague him. He has missed 192 of the last 324 games. For stat freaks, that is 59% games missed. That percentage does not reflect an everyday starter, but a fourth outfielder. When in the lineup-and healthy-he is one of the best defensive center fielders in baseball. The Mariners are lucky to have Endy Chavez to take his spot as his glove work is Mariner ship shape.
Health was not an issue in 2009 and 2010 when he played 153 and 152 games for Seattle with 629 plate appearances each year. In 2009 he had his best season with 18 homers, 70 RBIS and batted .283. His average dropped in 2010 to .245, hitting 12 home runs, driving in 64.
But in the last two seasons he has spent more time with doctors than a hypochondriac. In Franklin’s case his problems are real. Last year Franklin had a severe stomach disorder that baffled doctors for the longest time. He has also had a torn pectoral muscle, suffered a concussion, and strained an oblique muscle. In another time players would avoid Franklin as he would be the “Jonah” someone to avoid at all costs. Players would fear fallout, that getting to close to the “Jonah” might jeopardize one’s own health, that his bad luck would fall within too close a radius.
Franklin is likely headed to the DL and if so, then Carlos Peguero might be called up. He is batting .246 in Tacoma, has had call ups the last two seasons, exhibiting great power when not striking out. But when veterans Jason Bay and Raul Ibanez are not hitting what is the point of that ‘veteran presence?’ If a young player can hit .246 for the M’s they are better off than having two aging, ineffective veterans.
Michael Saunders will be back soon and his bat is needed because the other Michael, surname Morse, is slumping, no doubt due to his broken pinkie. Wait a minute! Morse started the season in left and broke his finger, and Saunders started the season in right, got hurt, and went on the DL. Gutierrez started the season in center field. The two Michaels flanked the ‘Jonah.” Maybe it is true and not a superstition. Be careful Carlos!
Once upon a time AAA baseball teams were loaded with prospects. The Dodgers farm teams in Spokane (yes it was a long time ago), was loaded with future Dodgers, but for some mysterious reason there was a baseball migration. The best prospects played AA ball while AAA teams became a mix of youth and major league players on the downside of their careers, trying to hang on, hoping to revitalize their careers. But for Tacoma, the Mariners AAA team, it looks to be loaded with future Mariners.
Consider the starting rotation. It is possible, indeed should be if the Mariners are smart, to have Danny Hultzen, Jimmy Paxton, Taijuan Walker, and Brendon Maurer in Tacoma. This would be the best rotation in the minor leagues; all are considered to have strong major league careers. And if the Mariners are really, really smart, they will have Mike Zunino, a future major league all-star catcher handle this staff.
Having those four starters with Zunino gives them a chance to bond, to have Zunino catch them. Then when they hit the Emerald City, Zunino will know all about his staff. They will have a history of working together.
The Rainers will have Vinnie Catricala, Carlos Triunfel and Alex Liddi. They have already been assigned to Tacoma. All young, all with a chance to improve their game. Tacoma should also be the stop for Nick Franklin, Brad Miller, and Stefen Romero. The Rainiers will be loaded with talent. Carlos Peguero could also be in Tacoma if he does not make Mariner roster. Currently he is batting .341 with 3 homers. In 41 at bats he has struck out 14 times, a 34% whiff rate. But the Mariners have had similar hitters. Remember Russell Branyon?
If all this falls into place, Tacoma would not just have the best rotation in minor league ball, but the best team. I don’t know if the migration is returning throughout baseball to what it once was, but it makes sense to have your best prospects playing together at a high level. It can’t always be done, but when you draft well, this is the result. Could it be the Mariners are drafting as smart as the Seahawks?
I know one thing, Tacoma is the place to be this summer. Need another reason to go see the Rainiers? The hot dogs and beer are cheaper than Seattle.
The Seattle Mariner‘s are hot, having won ten straight by beating the Rockies 16-6. Carlos Peguero is 8 for 19, scoring 8 runs, hitting 2 doubles and 3 home runs, while striking out only 6 times. Does it mean anything? I would like to say yes, but the answer is probably no.
In 2012, Peguero was 15-51 in spring training games, with 5 homers and 13 rbis, so he had a good spring, except for his 18 strikeouts, that is. Cutting down on his whiffs this spring is good, but no matter how hot he gets, one wonders if it will do him any good.
Spring is funny. Last spring Brendan Ryan batted .333. That translated into a .194 regular season average. Justin Smoak hit .378 and is currently batting .500, but his .378 average, like Ryan’s spring average, did not mean anything for the regular season, as his .217 average indicates.
Making the roster is a matter of numbers, but the numbers are not necessarily stats. Options factor in, as it will for Casper Wells (see below); versatility also is a factor, being able to play multiple positions only enhances a players chances; and balance, trying to get left-handed and right-handed bats to compliment each other; then there is attitude, how a player ‘goes about his business,’ a trite phrase players and broadcaster love to toss out.
As I mentioned in an earlier blog, Casper Wells, despite currently hitting .227 should get one of two reserve outfield spots. He is out of options, can play all three outfield positions, and has a strong arm. One can argue that Peguero is battling Raul Ibanez for the fifth spot, and there is something to that, since both are left-handed bats. But Ibanez is an organization favorite, making his third tour of duty on the Good Ship Mariner, and even at 41, he can still hit. He is 7-13 with 3 doubles, 2 homers and possesses that veteran experience and leadership that is so prized by clubs.
Best of luck Carlos. If Pete Carroll was the Mariners manager, it would be open competition, the job going to the best man. But this is baseball where players make the team for all sorts of reasons.