Immediately following a four-game series in which they scored as often as the US women's national team in the World Cup final, the Mike Carp back up, and returned Carlos Peguero to Tacoma.have brought
Carp, of course, has been up before, but the difference now is that he'll no longer be fighting with Peguero for playing time, clearing the way for pretty regular action. Expect to see a lot of Carp in left field, and a bit of Carp at DH. He isn't necessarily a guy who needs to be platooned, as so many young lefty hitters are, but we'll see what happens as long as Greg Halman is around and Franklin Gutierrez remains free of the DL. Carp may still be protected to some extent.
Carp, as we know, probably should've had Peguero's job from the beginning. To this day I don't understand why Peguero played so often for a then-contending team while a superior bat got less of a chance than he deserved. But the difference between the 2011 Mariners contending and the 2011 Mariners not contending is bigger than the difference between Mike Carp and Carlos Peguero, and at least this move is being made now. The Mariners have 67 games left in their season, and hopefully Carp plays in most of those games so that the organization can have a better idea what they have here. The old line used to be that Carp wasn't a guy to plan around, and that he wasn't a part of the future, but, who knows? He's a better hitter than he used to be, and this is his chance to fight for a role in 2012.
Since being sent back to Tacoma, Carp has played in eight games, batting 7-for-25 with two homers and six walks. His 1.060 overall OPS ranks 11th in the PCL, just six points better than Ryan Langerhans, and while one can never be sure about the worth of AAA statistics given that Bryan LaHair is slugging .694, Carp's hit an awful lot more at that level than Peguero has. He's earned this opportunity, and it'll be the first true extended opportunity of his career. And easily the most important.
As for Peguero, the demotion is long overdue, as he somehow collected 155 plate appearances with a Major League Baseball team this season. All of eight of those plate appearances came against left-handed pitchers, and still Peguero managed just a .622 OPS, with six unintentional walks and 54 strikeouts. Some other numbers:
O-Swing%: 372nd out of 372
Contact%: 370th out of 372
You can't even be mad at Peguero, because it's not like it was his fault he got a chance to look this overmatched. He didn't belong, he never belonged, and while he did square up six home runs, that was about all that he ever did. His approach sucked, his defense wasn't much, and two of his highlights were hitting a sun ball against the, and hitting a grounder off second base against the Angels.
It's cool on some level that Peguero got a chance, and I'm glad he had a few bright moments. He's very clearly one of the stronger hitters in the game, and it's impossible not to wonder how productive he could be if he put it all together. But that's just the thing - he can't put it all together, because right now he only has one piece. He's a jigsaw puzzle that was erroneously packaged with one piece in the box, and the rest of the pieces still need to be ordered. We'll see if they ever arrive, but I'm more than a little skeptical. Players like Peguero seldom pan out.
But sometimes they do, and I'm not giving up on Peguero forever. I'm just giving up on him for the present, and it's nice to see that the Mariners agree. I'll stop short of making any batting practice jokes, but now I won't be tempted to make any batting practice jokes.
Go get 'em, Carp.