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Mariners call up 1st round pick Gordon Beckham, place $150k international signee Robinson Canó on DL

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The Mariners go with chalk. It tastes as you’d expect.

Chicago White Sox v New York Yankees
“I’m the captain now.” ~ Derek Jeter, still, somewhere out of frame.
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

After Gordon Beckham was held out of both of yesterday’s games in Tacoma, the Mariners’ choice for Robinson Canó’s replacement seemed decided. Now it’s official, and the Mariners’ 40-man roster is up to 39 filled spots.

There’s something incredibly frustrating about a move that seems unavoidably capped, and calling up Gordon Beckham feels that way. It’s been a decade since he was the 8th overall pick of the 2008 draft, viewed universally as the top infielder available. He debuted in the majors less than a year later at the age of 22, and put together over 100 games worthy of Rookie of the Year consideration. And then... not much else. Not only did Beckham fail to take a step forward, he never again matched his rookie season’s production.

Now, at 31, he’ll now receive the lion’s share of the starts at 2nd base for an MLB team in what’s likely his last shot to establish MLB value. He seems to know it. Beckham should be a defensive match or upgrade for Canó, with greater range and footspeed countered by a less extraordinary arm. His baserunning will also be an improvement, but all of those first two can’t cover the fact that Beckham is a shadow of the hitter Canó is. A career 81 wRC+ and a line of .239/.303/.369 tell the story for Beckham. Perhaps the heat of his blazing Spring and excellent Tacoma numbers has a basis, but that’s a long shot against a career of mediocrity.

Prove us wrong, Gordon, and at long last you might just prove Ozzie Guillen right.