Austin Jackson, last night:
Austin Jackson said he's had ankle sprains similar to the one he suffered today. Said they didn't keep him out for too long.— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) May 3, 2015
Words are wind. Austin Jackson was placed on the DL today. When pressed on the plan Lloyd McClendon indicated that Justin Ruggiano will serve as the team's primary center fielder during Jackson's absence. Ruggiano is a capable defender and his overall game has definitely merited more playing time than it has received overall thus far. However his inability to hit against right-handed pitchers will leave the team in....wait...roughly the same situation they were in already.
But don't get hurt Justin. He's always there. Lurking. Waiting. Hungry.
Replacing Jackson on the roster is shortstop Chris Taylor. Taylor spend approximately 1/4 of 2014 with the team and was nifty, putting up a ~league average .wOBA and major league caliber defense at shortstop. A lot of his offensive value last year was tied to a .398 BABIP and as that tumbles inevitably downward it would be nice to see his .059 ISO go up. Taylor slugged almost .500 in Tacoma last year which is hard to translate due to the PCL's standard gravitational vortexes at all of their ballparks. But still, he's more than a slap hitter.
What does the call up mean for Brad Miller and The Arm Of WTF? Divish again with the quote from McClendon:
McClendon said it's a possibility Miller will move around. "He's not the forgotten man. He's certainly not the culprit in all of this."— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) May 4, 2015
Move around could mean a few things. Some are clattering and hell raising for him to finally try out the outfield. If you are interested you should definitely read this Fanpost from noted excellent writer and bad Star Wars punner Eric Blankenship. If the team wants to try it on the fly without sending Miller to Tacoma first this is probably as good an opportunity as they'll get. Or you can keep Nelson Cruz in RF everyday, thereby offsetting almost all of his ridiculously huge offensive contribution. Your call, Mariners.
In addition to the Taylor call up the team needed two new pitchers after yesterdays culling. Joe Beimel is the first to get the call. Beimel was wonderful last year but as we've seen to varying degrees from the entire bullpen last year's performance isn't helping anyone. In order to make room on the 40 man roster for the transaction the team DFA'd Mike Kickham, which is sad.
The last 24 hours' shuffling still has one roster spot open on the 25 man.
The strong rumor is old friend old Mark Lowe Old friend Mark Lowe is the call up from Tacoma. Almost every year in September I look back at the April roster and am amazed at how many players started the year with the team but I forgot about over six months. It will be interesting to see if these changes are temporary or end up as long term roster adjustments in response to the team's slow start.