Carlos Peguero Credit: Seattle Mariners
Know what the Mariners need as they pass the quarter pole of another woeful season? They need another left fielder.
Yeah, you answer, but they already have about 12 guys who can play left-field, a couple of them even competently.
Right, so you're thinking the team needs a baker's-dozen left fielders the way, say, Wiley Coyote needs another run-in with the Roadrunner.
The thing is, it wouldn't just be any left fielder. This one would be Carlos Peguero, who, during just 11 games with the triple-A Rainiers this year, has 15 hits, including four doubles, a triple and four home runs.
Friday, as the M's were shutting down Colorado 4-0 during their, well, woeful four-city, 3-6 road trip (as of Saturday), Peguero had a solo dinger for Tacoma to go with a base hit, raising his batting average to .375.
Granted: His mere 40 Coast League at-bats this year scarcely qualify as an adequate sampling for projecting big-league production. Nor was he exactly a Rookie of the Year candidate last year, when the then 24-year-old played 46 games for Seattle and hit .196. But among his 28 hits in 2011 were six long balls.
Home runs haven't been a large part of the M's repertoire for the better part of a decade. Entering the Saturday game with Colorado in which they picked up one more homer during a 10-3 win, the Mariners' 34 round-trippers left them 11th in the 14-team American League.
This season, Jesus Montero leads the team with five long balls (one more than Ranger Josh Hamilton had May 8 in a single outing) but sat for the Thursday and Friday games after lunging for a number of bad pitches he apparently imagined putting over the fences. At least the 22-year-old has shown something like aggressiveness at the plate, unlike teammates who have conspicuously left an abundance of runners in scoring position on the way to an 18-24, last-place record in the division.
How to make room for Peguero? At some point management is going to have to swallow the Chone Figgins contract: bad debt to rival certain documents from the housing crisis. In the absence of a Figgins decision, there are others who could benefit from taking swings in triple-A.
And there are two other reasons for bringing back Peguero. One: At 6-feet-5 and 245 pounds he's a Big Get in size alone.
Another would be the nostalgia factor. Unless you were the Angels' Torii Hunter, one of the — literally — warmest, fuzziest moments of the 2011 season occurred precisely a year and ago at Safeco Field. From the deathless memories cluttering the Crosscut.com archives, it's recounted below in the written drivel of your own humble correspondent:
The sun won a game in Seattle? Seattle . . . Washington?
Yes, and the phrase “seeing is believing” isn’t quite appropriate. “Not seeing” makes more sense in this context.
In the bottom of the ninth Thursday (May 19) , with the game knotted at one and the Mariners with two outs and a runner on third, recent call-up Carlos Peguero lofted a routine fly to center, precisely the play that had almost resulted in a dropped ball by M’s center-fielder Michael Saunders half an inning earlier.
This time the Los Angeles Angels’ Torii Hunter lost the ball in the cloud-less afternoon glare. Jack Cust walked home with the winning run to the delight of 18,374, none, from what I could see, wearing a parka.
For his part in that game alone, Carlos Peguero is a Mariners immortal and belongs — even if just in some mascot role — with the big-league team.