ROSTER UPDATE: Julio Mateo has been placed on the DL with "shoulder tendinitis". Sean Green was called up from Tacoma to take his place.
Ichiro RF Patterson CF Lopez 2B Mora 3B Ibanez LF Tejada DH Sexson 1B Gibbons RF Everett DH Hernandez C Beltre 3B Conine 1B Reed CF Markakis LF Betancourt SS Gomez 2B Rivera C Fahey SS ---------- ----------
Moyer (0-2, 3.45) Lopez (1-2, 6.97)
LET'S GO MARINERS!
This doesn't have anything to do with today's game, since Rodrigo Lopez is a slop-throwing righty, but I wanted to address the Reed/Bloomquist "non-platoon" situation in center real quick...
Career Line vs. Southpaws:
Limited samples, both of them, but the point is that as long as he's spotted against left-handed pitchers, Willie Ballgame hits like a passable center fielder, which makes him considerably less worthless than you'd think, especially given how awful Reed has looked (in general, really, not just against lefties). Is platooning them going to help Reed develop into a better ballplayer down the road? Of course not, but it makes the Mariners a better team in the short-term (even factoring in defense), and isn't that all we're looking for this early in the season?
If and when the M's fall out of contention - like, say, a week from now - then there'll be a legitimate case to be made in favor of starting Reed every day, but until that happens, it's difficult to justify getting on Hargrove's case for improving his team's chances of winning in a division that's totally sucked so far. To hell with the long-term for the moment. After all, I haven't heard anyone complain when Roberto Petagine pinch-hits for Yuniesky Betancourt, and couldn't you make the argument that doing so is just as "damaging" to Betancourt's development as benching Reed in favor of Willie every few days?
Willie Ballgame is not an everyday player in the Major Leagues. Not even close. He wouldn't be much of a platoon partner, either, if the starter wasn't sucking so bad, but the fact of the matter is that Jeremy Reed is terrible right now, and sitting him against lefties to give Willie a few at bats is actually a decision worthy of praise, rather than criticism, at least as far as the fans who haven't given up on the season yet are concerned.