So, the Mariners have played a few games. Weird, huh? Jeff Sullivan likened last week’s 2 regular season games in Japan to a dream and that sounds about right. Now, we’ve been back to Cactus League games for the past few days and I find myself longing for Opening Day. Then, I stop and think, “That already happened.” I hope someone else has felt this way or else I spent far too much time writing this meaningless introduction.
One of the dumb things that happened in Japan was Mike Carp hurting his shoulder and getting put on the disabled list. The other dumb thing was getting 3-hit by Bartolo Colon but I’ve tried to conveniently not remember that part of the dream. Mike Carp got put on the disabled list before the 2nd game of the season and Carlos Peguero was activated for the 2nd game in Japan. Now, Carp’s DL clock has been ticking even though we aren’t technically in the regular season at the moment so we can expect him back in about a week and a half.
People seem to think they have the Mariners roster figured out for the opening game (aside from a few spots in the bullpen, but I was referring to the position players). They’ll option Alex Liddi and have Casper Wells and Carlos Peguero split time in left field. I admit, this is the most likely but I’m not sure it’s the right decision.
If you’ve followed Spring Training, you know that Chone Figgins will be getting regular playing time for the first few weeks at least. Little Figgy has been playing all over the diamond this spring and has spent a good amount of time in the outfield. I’d even say he’s been there the majority of the time. Knowing that and knowing that Carlos Peguero is bad (really bad). Why not have Figgins be your starting left fielder for the next 2 weeks? Keep Alex Liddi on the team and have him be the best right-handed bat off the bench. Let him start a few games against left-handed pitchers while Seager gets a rest. Kyle Seager should be this teams starting 3rd baseman anyway, so why not let him.
This works out for the Mariners front office, as well. If Seager hits and Figgy doesn’t then you have a perfect excuse to cut him by the time Carp comes back. Not a long enough trial, you say? He’s had 2 years. 2 awful years. Figgins is still on this team.
You can’t convince me that Figgins and Peguero on the field at the same time is a better combination than Figgins and Seager. Figgins will be better defensively in left field. Seager is a better hitter than Peguero.
Again, I don’t think this will actually happen because it’s unorthodox and usually baseball stays away from unorthodox but I think it should happen. Plus, Alex Liddi is Italian.
Speaking of the Italian, he’s had a great spring. Not that spring means much (or anything at all) but he would become the best right-hander on the bench. He could play first, when Montero catches and Smoak DH’s. All in all, I just think he’s better than Peguero because well… If you really want me to explain that then you need to figure out how bad Peguero is.
Last year, Seattle Sports Insider argued that Luis Rodriguez should make the team as the 25th man because he was simply better than Josh Wilson. You can argue how much a 25th man means to an organization (probably not much), but a team should still put their best players on the major league team (unless they’re holding them back to save an extra year of team control. We see you Paxton, Hultzen and Catricala!). You know who the best right-handed hitter on the bench is when Casper Wells plays center, if Peguero makes the team? There is no right-handed hitter on the bench in that situation.
I’ll break this down mathematically after the jump.Opinion based math (if you have different opinions, tell me in the comments)! Here we go:
Starting 3rd base – Seager > Figgins (this sends Figgins to left field)
Left field – We know Figgins will play the first couple of weeks so pencil him in as the starter. That leaves Casper Wells > Carlos Peguero (although faith in Wells in flailing, he has to be on the club as a backup center-fielder).
You have 4 outfielders now, counting Figgins as an outfielder. That leaves only one backup infielder (Kawasaki, who will be starting somewhere by June) and you need two. Peguero can’t play anywhere defensively, especially the infield so…. Hi Alex Liddi.
That’s Good Guy math right there!
Thanks for the time, go M’s!