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Mariners Send Rob Johnson South, Recall Adam Moore

Well I wasn't really expecting this:

Hearing that Adam Moore will be called up tomorrow. Rob Johnson to Tacoma.

Granted, this'll only last for a month, if that, but if I'm interpreting this correctly, it's a pretty big statement. It also explains why Josh Bard has caught two of Felix's last three starts. Bard caught on July 20th, then caught Felix on July 21st. Bard also caught on July 30th, then caught Felix on July 31st. Unless Johnson was dealing with something minor that didn't leak to the media, the Mariners made the deliberate decision to have him sit out a couple Felix Days. That's significant.

I forgot who it was that pointed out that the Mariners haven't spoken as glowingly of Johnson this year as they did in 2009, but it seems to be true, and this may be the latest indication that they're growing increasingly frustrated. Johnson's sitting on a .574 OPS, and while his throwing arm has been okay, he leads the league in passed balls and has allowed an additional 23 wild pitches. Almost everything about Johnson has been a disappointment this year - even his walk rate, which has dropped to 7.6% since early May after an encouraging start. Pitchers figured out how bad he is, just as they did ages ago with Jack Wilson.

Is Adam Moore the savior? Doubt it. He's had his defensive problems, too. He looked like total crap with Seattle before he got hurt. He has hit fairly well with Tacoma, though, with a double and a homer just yesterday, so, what the hell? What's the harm? Moore gets a confidence boost from having earned another chance, and Rob Johnson learns that he can't just rest on his reputation. His reputation has changed a little bit.

I could be making entirely too much of one simple, short-term transaction, but: Rob Johnson had a shot to be the Mariners' catcher of the future. He couldn't take advantage, so now it looks like he'll have to wait his turn for seconds while Moore gets a go. I don't think anybody sees Moore as some future superstar, but I also don't think anybody wanted him to stay trapped behind Johnson without ever getting a chance. He is at least as talented. Time for him to show that he might have a little bit more.

If Michael Pineda falls in love with Rob Johnson, I quit.