Tui makes the team in place of Ichiro as a reward for his big spring. I guess Wakamatsu decided that he just wasn’t going to use the Ichiro replacement guy during the first eight games anyway, so we’ll essentially play with a 24 man roster for a week. I know there’s a place for rewarding hard work and improvement, which by all accounts Tui has done, but why play at a disadvantage if you don’t have to?
Okay, fine, Cedeno will cover the outfield in an emergency. He’s got some experience out there, and Chavez/Gutierrez/Balentien will probably get most of the playing time in the OF anyway. But from a practical standpoint, Tui doesn’t help you at all. He’s not fast enough to pinch run for anyone other than Johjima or Griffey, and defensively, he’s basically limited to third base, and the team should be hoping that Beltre plays every inning of each of the first eight games.
Why not carry Halman if you’re not going to play the last guy on the bench? At least he gives you a legitimate glove in the OF and can pinch run.
No, it probably won’t matter all that much in the grand scheme of things, but this seems to be unnecessarily making the team less flexible for… what, really? Tui has already made his big league debut. It’s not like the organization is giving him his first taste of the major leagues or anything. I guess I just don’t see the point.
I’m still totally on board the bandwagon for the direction the new guys are taking the team in, but this particular move is a head scratcher, for me.
Also, Corcoran makes the team with Delgado being outrighted to Tacoma. He cleared waivers, so that worked out nicely.
Oh, and Wakamatsu announced that Griffey will play RF on Monday, then DH the next two games, and not start against LHP Perkins on Thursday. For everyone who was afraid that we were going to get a steady dose of badly used Junior, this should be seen as a pretty big positive – even with Ichiro out, they’re only giving him a the ceremonial opening day start and acknowledging that his off days should be timed to match up with opposing pitcher handedness. So, hooray for that.