Welcome to Seattle, Chris Shelton

Dave · July 8, 2009 at 10:12 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The Rainiers used Chris Shelton at DH tonight, then pinch hit for him in the 9th inning (h/t Ryan Divish). That’s because they didn’t want him to get hurt in his farewell to Tacoma (he’ll be replaced down there by newly signed Alex Cintron). He’ll join the Mariners roster tomorrow, with Jason Vargas (most likely) getting optioned to Triple-A to open up a roster spot. We talked about this happening the other day – with the team not needing a 5th starter again until July 25th, Vargas can get work in Tacoma while Shelton can take Sweeney’s roster spot and act as Junior’s platoon partner/backup first baseman.

If Shelton comes out of the gate and hits, he could stick on the roster for a while. By adding him to the 40 man, the M’s lose the ability to send him back to Tacoma without putting him through waivers, and there’s a pretty decent chance he’d get claimed. With Sweeney’s back being a persistent problem, and his offense not justifying a roster spot, the M’s aren’t going to want to lose their insurance policy if they don’t have to. If Shelton’s swinging the bat well when Sweeney is eligible to come off the DL on July 21st, don’t be surprised if Mike is asked to take one for the team and keep “rehabbing” for a while.


15 Responses to “Welcome to Seattle, Chris Shelton”

  1. Mike Snow on July 8th, 2009 10:25 pm

    Also from Tacoma tonight – Jeff Clement at 1B.

  2. DAMellen on July 8th, 2009 10:37 pm

    But he can still baby sit, right?

  3. Nik Aitken on July 8th, 2009 10:40 pm

    It’s about time we get a righty bat to DH a bit.

    Welcome aboard, Chris.

  4. Mere Tantalisers on July 8th, 2009 10:42 pm

    Welcome, Mr. Shelton. Now don’t make us look stupid for crowing about your absence for three months.

  5. wabbles on July 8th, 2009 10:43 pm

    All this just makes soooo much sense (Shelton is out of options? Really? I did not know that, as Johnny Carson used to say.)
    For once I have confidence in our FO to “do the right thing.” Keeping Sweeney on the DL would allow us to see what Shelton can do. If it’s anything like what Carp can do (eventually) let’s start planning the Junior Retirement Party and thank Sweeney for his services. There’s only 54 days until the rosters expand.
    Suddenly, this year’s dog days/pennant run could be fun.
    P.S. If MLB won’t let us keep Sweeney “injured” is there a random bullpen pitcher we could send to Tacoma insteadd to free up the roster spot? We’ve got, like, 17 of them or something, don’t we?

  6. Mothy on July 8th, 2009 11:41 pm

    Shelton’s been playing 3rd base a bit, right? Do you think he’ll get any at bats there too? Or do you think it’ll be a strictly 1B/DH thing?
    How bad would he have to be defensively (or how good offensively)to be a better option than Woodward there?

  7. Mothy on July 8th, 2009 11:42 pm

    That last sentence is worded really awkwardly. But you know what I mean, right?

  8. SonOfZavaras on July 9th, 2009 12:23 am

    He’s brutal, Mothy. Shelton is the definition of a butcher at third base. Defensively, Woodward is amazingly the better option.

    But if he hits, they just might put him there at the hot corner and live with the clanks.

    I think he’s a DH, myself- I predict that’s where a lot of the ABs that he’ll get will come from.

    But I haven’t been right about anything on the Mariners this whole month so far…so take this comment with grain of salt.

  9. SonOfZavaras on July 9th, 2009 12:27 am

    P.S. If MLB won’t let us keep Sweeney “injured” is there a random bullpen pitcher we could send to Tacoma insteadd to free up the roster spot? We’ve got, like, 17 of them or something, don’t we?

    I vote Country-Fried Corcoran and his walk-an-inning (PLUS a .359 BA-against) to go bye-bye.

  10. Sports on a Schtick on July 9th, 2009 12:32 am

    Looking forward to Vargas coming back up. He’s been a pleasant surprise this season.

  11. lokiforever on July 9th, 2009 12:57 am

    So has the long absence of Silva.

  12. Oly Rainiers Fan on July 9th, 2009 6:24 am

    Shelton has had A LOT of errors over at 3B (nearing 20), but still I wish him the best. Will miss his cute red-headed mohawk child running around Cheney, and his Kid Rock at bat song (and his very timely hitting).

    Clement at 1B. Yeah, and 0-4 at the plate. Not sure he can focus on two things (offense AND defense) at once, but maybe they’re trying to convince a potential NL trade partner he can. Maybe I’m being too hard on him, this is only like the 5th game he’s played on the field the entire season…(he’s ahead of Tui on that, who is STILL out on DL far beyond what they predicted…)

    Yuni – baserunning blunder (3rd out of the inning) followed by fielding blunder (backing up up up up to catch that ball that I could easily hear Jerry Owens (CF) calling in my seat.

  13. The Ancient Mariner on July 9th, 2009 7:19 am

    There was a time that I would have been much more excited about the M’s acquiring Alex Cintron; after all, there aren’t all that many 24-year-old shortstops who can post an .850 OPS. Now . . . at least he gives Tacoma a real glove at the hot corner (or wherever they decide to use him).

  14. Tuomas on July 9th, 2009 1:55 pm

    I think the story with Shelton is third is, pretty much, that necessity is the mother of invention. With Clement DHing and Carp at 1B, Shelton was pretty much forced to third when Tui went down. He’s terrible there, but he had to play at Tacoma, and that was pretty much the only available spot.

  15. Broadcast James on July 9th, 2009 4:35 pm

    FYI: Chris Shelton was affectionately nicknamed “Big Red” in Detroit, and received high marks in the clubhouse chemistry department (FWIW, of course!). He’s the type of guy that casual fans adore.

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