A quick reminder that I’ll be doing my weekly chat with Brock and Salk on ESPN 710 today, but instead of 12:30, we’ll do it at 2:15. Can’t imagine what the topic of the day will be.
Okay, Junior’s retired. At the risk of sounding heartless, it’s time to figure out what to do with the roster now. In the short term, the M’s will almost certainly just call up another pitcher from Tacoma (bet on Chad Cordero) in order to get them through the rest of their 20-striaght-games-without-a-day-off stretch, and go back to the 12 man pitching staff. In the long term, however, the departure of Griffey from the roster gives the Mariners some opportunities.
Everyone knows they need another hitter. As we discussed yesterday, they probably need to upgrade at first base if they’re going to try to contend, but the open roster spot from Griffey retiring now gives them the potential to retain Kotchman and keep him as a part-time player if they can get a bat who can rotate between 1B/DH/LF.
There’s one really obvious guy who fits the bill perfectly: Luke Scott. I talked about him as a fit this winter, and we’ve mentioned his name a number of times over the first few months, but with Griffey out of the picture, he makes more sense than ever.
Against right-handers, you could put Saunders or Langerhans in left, Bradley at DH, and Scott at first base. On days where you wanted Kotchman’s glove in there (perhaps when Fister and Felix are pitching), Scott or Bradley can play left, with the other spending time at designated hitter. Against lefties, he could be a big thumping bat off the bench, the kind of real pinch-hitter that the team could use to sub in for the catcher in a high leverage situation.
A guy who can hit the ball a long way and give you flexibility at three positions, doesn’t make that much money, is under team control for 2011, and is playing on a team that has no chance of winning this year – seriously, he’s about as perfect a fit as you’re going to get.
It would have been hard to fit him into the roster with Griffey around. Now, the M’s have an opening for him. If they’re serious about winning, they should make this move sooner than later.