The Mariners officially signed John Buck to a one year, $1 million contract today, and that meant somebody was getting the axe. The head that the Mariners decided to roll is Carlos Peguero, who landed in my "in doubt" category when I previewed who might be designated when Buck signed. Peguero is about to be 27 and took a huge step backwards last year in Tacoma, pounding a bunch of balls into the dirt instead of over the fence, which is the only thing he does well.
There was very little chance a Peguero was ever going to make enough legit contact to contribute regularly at the major league level, but that never stopped others from hoping a miracle could happen. Eric Wedge loved him, and so did Dave Sims. A lot of people were sucked in by the batting practice bombs. He played in the 2010 Futures Game thanks to that power. He was the poor man's Willie Mo Pena in a lot of ways, with absolutely jaw-dropping power that came at unpredictable times. He wasn't a dead red masher though, and that's what was so confoundedly intriguing about him. In his scattered major league appearances, Peguero crushed a lot of stuff that moved, yet he was mostly worthless against fastballs.
He swung and missed at everything including what he mashed, which is the opposite of what a lot of sluggers with contact problems do. Carlos Peguero was terrible at everything but hitting the ball extremely far, but you can't deny that he commanded attention when he came to the plate, just in case he picked a ball off the ground and smashed it well beyond the fence. It's why Peguero kept getting opportunities throughout his career, shuttling back and forth from Tacoma. Power is a hell of a drug. Watch this dude take batting practice and you'd be hooked too.
Peguero slugged .315 against four seam fastballs over his career, and slugged .638 against changes. He slugged .488 against curveballs. He annihilated cutters with a .588 ISO. Peguero could hit most things that moved, but he couldn't hit things that were straight or straight and down. Or sliders. But when he got a hold of one, it was fun as hell.
Peguero is probably gone, seeing as how the Mariners don't have a lot of at-bats available for guys they may think actually have a future in the majors, with James Jones, Stefen Romero, and Julio Morbon all competing for at-bats, not to mention other corner outfield candidates like Ty Kelly, Nate Tenbrink, and Xavier Avery. His wife's scandal with the Hernandez family probably didn't help matters either, and if he passes waivers I wouldn't be surprised to see the Mariners just let him walk.
Carlos Peguero's final 162 game pace with the Mariners contained 22 homers, 25 walks, and 209 strikeouts.
Peguero's raw strength will get him another shot somewhere else, and I don't doubt he'll get himself back into the majors at some point after somebody else falls under his spell, or at least somewhere internationally. Until then, thanks for the super-scoop bombs and Family Circus outfield routes. May Yakety Sax play on forever in your memory.