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Mariners recall Shawn O'Malley from Tacoma. Luis Sardinas optioned to Tacoma after last night's game— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) May 15, 2016
Inexplicably so, there are some of us afforded the grace, talent, and general luck to pass through this realm with a sort of nonchalance to circumstance. There are some whom Reality does not seem to touch with such cold hands. Gravity bears less a burden, Time and Misfortune, as well. These are the movers and the shakers of the world. Those that were born under a blessed star, who can create magic from nothing but ash and dirt. Shawn O'Malley, The Cat, is just exactly this sort of us. And now, he's back with the Seattle Mariners.
This morning news was broken that the M's have exercised Luis Sardinas' final option and sent him to AAA Tacoma, and the other shoe to drop is that Shawn O'Malley will now find himself in the teal and blue. We've been wondering, and sort of calling for this move for a few weeks now for a number of reasons, but the first being that, to me and others, this makes a ton of long-term sense.
Luis Sardinas was a good idea in concept on the MLB roster, he tore apart Spring Training in such a manner that Scott Servais was forced to give him lengthy consideration in his plans. Ultimately he won the job, and we presumed that this 22 year-old utility player would get a start maybe once every four or five games, and start to get his feet under him at the highest level. Of course, this isn't what happened. Sardinas has only had 27 PA's in the first 36 games, and while he never seemed a defensive liability in his starts across the diamond, he simply wasn't getting enough time. The catch, of course, was that Sardinas, thanks to some poor management by Texas when he was apart of that organization, only had a single option remaining at the age of twenty-two. That option, as of this morning, has now been used.
Sardinas has a big-league career ahead of him, hopefully with the Seattle Mariners. He's so young, and the bat flashed so well in Spring, that you'd hope the system is able to both find a place on the field for him to stick and also a position where his bat is playable. There's a talented baseball player in there, and at his age, he simply needs seasoning and time to find him. Let's hope he absolutely rips apart Tacoma and we see him back quite soon.
On the flip side, Shawn O'Malley may just be the perfect fit for the 25th Man on this roster. Thanks to platoons in both right field and first base, there is only one spot on this roster for a pinch runner/utility man. Enter Shawn "The Cat" O'Malley, twenty-fifthiest of twenty fifths. Shawn is a grinder who has managed a 138 wRC+ in 100 PA's in Tacoma. His BB% sits at 13%, K% at 18%. I don't know if you remember but last season, in just under 60 PA's, he posted a remarkable 21% BB%. He can play all positions across the infield and outfield, and is absolutely a late-inning defensive upgrade over Cruz/Smith/probably Aoki. He can give Leonys Martin a day-off that won't involve Norichicka Aoki, Center Fielder. At 28 years-old, this is Shawn O'Malley's dream come true.
I'd be lying to say I'm not biased towards O'Malley. During his call-up last season, I fell in love with his pedal-to-the-metal style and combination of white-knuckle defense and somehow just always being in the middle of the fray. He's one of those guys who seems to be always making something happen, always entertaining. This is, in my eyes, the ideal move for both him and Sardi given current situations and performances.
Let it rip, Shawn.