Carlos Peguero

marc w · April 19, 2011 at 9:50 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Let’s be clear: this is about as minor as personnel moves get. Justin Smoak can be on bereavement leave* for a maximum of 7 days, so we’re really talking about a handful of games. The M’s felt confident enough in Ryan Langerhans and Chris Gimenez to hold down the fort at 1B and instead called up a left-handed outfielder, Carlos Peguero.

As you saw if you watched tonight’s game, Peguero’s huge. He’s 6’5″ (at least) and probably over 250 pounds at this point. He’s been playing CF in Tacoma the past few games, though that’s due to injuries – the M’s will use him in LF and at DH. So: why bring up a lefty corner OF when the M’s have Langerhans/Saunders?

1: The M’s don’t really need a 1B for so few games. Langerhans/Gimenez offers them a natural platoon; the true 1B option – Mike Carp – doesn’t offer much more than a slight edge in contact over Langerhans. Defensively, it’s a push at best, and in any event, Carp hasn’t played much 1B this year at all: the Rainiers are trying to get Matt Tuiasosopo as many innings as they can. Tui’s a known entity, but that’s a double-edged sword. Peguero’s moderately hot right now (Tui and Carp really aren’t), and while the sample size is tiny, he’s struck out less than Carp/Tui. None of these guys will be confused for Dustin Ackley.
2: Peguero’s different/somewhat exciting. He’s a hulking man with a swing that’s breath-taking in its ferocity. While you can certainly see why Peguero’s racked up impressive strike-out totals at every stop in the minors. He’s been better in the infancy of the 2011 season, but I’m not going to suggest that he’s now a contact hitter. Still, when Peguero makes contact, he hits the ball hard. Last Friday, Peguero was responsible for perhaps the hardest hit I’ve seen at Cheney stadium. That’s an anecdote and not a compelling argument, but it highlights why I’m OK with this move. Peguero’s entertaining. If I know he’s coming up, I’ll watch. Given the sample sizes involved, this factor dwarfs any performance-related metric. Over the next week, who would you rather see face a righty? (Ackley? Personally, I’d rather he play every day than get 5 at-bats sprinkled over a few games). The M’s were recently shut down by Bruce Chen and Josh Tomlin in games that were almost unwatchable. I’m not crazy about Peguero long-term, but I’m really not crazy about feeling like watching the M’s is an obligation/chore. Go get ‘em Carlos.

* This is certainly not minor for Smoak.

Comments

29 Responses to “Carlos Peguero”

  1. 300ZXNA on April 19th, 2011 10:27 pm

    So he is essentially our own Wily Mo Pena . . .

  2. tdzyph on April 19th, 2011 10:53 pm

    Sounds like Smoak’s father passed away tonight. I’m glad the team was able to get him there to be alongside his family.

  3. jordan on April 19th, 2011 10:58 pm

    I’m jumping on the bandwagon. Here’s to finding a new/real DH.

  4. Faceplant on April 19th, 2011 11:29 pm

    So are you talking about Peguero’s double, or his HR? I missed the HR, but I saw the double off the CF wall. Now, I was in attendance when Shin-Soo Choo hit his HR over the CF fence at Cheney, but I can say without a doubt that Peguero’s double was more impressive. Choo hit the ball hard, but it was the wind that carried it out. Peguero’s double wasn’t aided by the whether. Indeed with the amount of rain that was in the air you could make a case that it was hindered by it.

  5. wabbles on April 19th, 2011 11:30 pm

    As you said, he probably won’t be around long enough to make an impression one way or the other. However, any chance he makes enough of an impression that the M’s give Jack Cust the wrong time for the next charter flight and just leave him stranded at the airport prior to his DFA?

  6. nwade on April 20th, 2011 12:09 am

    The first thing I thought when I heard about Peguero’s promotion, was “hey, did Ray get DFA’ed?”. Would have been a lot better than the Smoak news!

  7. Nicbp253 on April 20th, 2011 7:37 am

    Maybe he can play good enough to stay in left. Milton moves to DH, Cust goes bye bye and Saunders takes over in center. I would like that very much. Move Smoak to the four spot!!!!!

  8. eddie on April 20th, 2011 8:02 am

    This Walk-A-Dope style of playing is hard to watch, it will be refreshing (and exciting) to see a big Swing and a Miss!

    I haven’t checked the numbers but I bet Jack Cust has driven in more runs with walks than with hits.

  9. The Ancient Mariner on April 20th, 2011 8:27 am

    eddie, you’d rather see a bad result for the M’s than a good one?

    Really?

  10. TomC on April 20th, 2011 9:03 am

    This Walk-A-Dope style of playing is hard to watch

    I actually like the plate discipline. A very positive development.

    What I don’t like is the weak grounder to second base, the pop up to shallow center, etc.

  11. joser on April 20th, 2011 9:14 am

    Well, the M’s need to keep walking and have somebody drive them in; they’ve been doing the former, but not the latter. But that’s still an improvement over last year, when they mostly did neither. But walking and striking out isn’t much of an improvement (unless the guys who are walking can steal their way around the diamond like Ichiro and Figgins were doing last night). And in fact, if Smoak keeps his foot on the gas when he gets back (fingers crossed) I expect he’ll start walking even more too, because who behind him is a threat to drive him in?

  12. 6-4-3 on April 20th, 2011 9:35 am

    They showed some BP footage of Peguero after last night’s game and there’s no question the guy swings for the fences. I hope he can connect at least once during his “cup of coffee” in Seattle!

  13. The Ancient Mariner on April 20th, 2011 10:03 am

    6-4-3, he will; in fact, he will have hit the ball so hard, it tore a hole in the space-time continuum and traveled backward in time. The ball was being expected to land in Safeco sometime around midnight tonight, at next report.

  14. Westside guy on April 20th, 2011 10:19 am

    Thing is – the Mariners aren’t actually doing a great job of walking/getting on base as a team. According to the team rankings on espn.com, they’re currently 20th in OBP. Smoak is really the only guy well above average in that department right now – well, and Gimenez, but that’s in a dozen or so plate appearances. Then there are a handful of guys that are hanging around league average, and the rest who are well below average.

    So people may complain that the approach doesn’t work, but that’s not really a valid statement – at least if you’re using the Mariners as evidence. What this team does show so far is that a team with little power and poor on-base skills tends to not score much – when they get on base at a higher clip, like they did last night, things go better.

  15. ejmamariners on April 20th, 2011 10:54 am

    I for one am excited to see Peguero hit, if only in the hopes that the Ms dump most of the major league roster and use this year to give the kids a chance to play. If the kid does hit a bomb, maybe they will keep him up and watch him hit 25 homers (along with the inevitable 150 Ks).

  16. the tourist on April 20th, 2011 11:24 am

    the Mariners aren’t actually doing a great job of walking

    They’re only leading MLB in walks. 14% more walks than 2nd place in the AL. Naw, they’re not doing a great job of walking. Only slightly more than 4 walks a game.

  17. Paul B on April 20th, 2011 11:24 am

    According to the team rankings on espn.com, they’re currently 20th in OBP.

    They do, however, lead the AL in walks. And it isn’t very close (10 ahead of second place Boston).

    And according to Baseball Reference, they are essentially league average in OBP.

  18. Paul B on April 20th, 2011 11:28 am

    Peguero’s entertaining. If I know he’s coming up, I’ll watch.

    Yeah, me too.

    I’m not really expecting much, my prediction would be that we will see him mostly strikeout and in a week or so he’ll be headed back to Tacoma to get more experience. But I’ll still watch. Never know what will happen.

  19. dnc on April 20th, 2011 11:30 am

    Thing is – the Mariners aren’t actually doing a great job of walking/getting on base as a team.

    Walking and getting on base are not the same thing. As many have noted, the team is very good at walking. It’s the reaching base via a hit thing that presents a challenge for them.

  20. Westside guy on April 20th, 2011 11:52 am

    Walking and getting on base are not the same thing. As many have noted, the team is very good at walking. It’s the reaching base via a hit thing that presents a challenge for them.

    Yeah, to use Cust as an (extreme) example – he’s got a roughly league-average OBP, but as we’ve seen it’s largely due to the number of walks he’s taken. He’s got more walks than even Smoak, but it feels like that’s all he has to offer. Take away the walks and, so far this year, he’s basically Miguel Olivo (just looking at strikeouts and total bases, anyway).

  21. Westside guy on April 20th, 2011 11:54 am

    They’re only leading MLB in walks. 14% more walks than 2nd place in the AL. Naw, they’re not doing a great job of walking. Only slightly more than 4 walks a game.

    There was a reason I linked walking/getting on base, which you chose to ignore for some reason. :-)

  22. limerick thugsta on April 20th, 2011 11:54 am

    Walking and getting on base are pretty much the same thing, which is why OBP is such an important stat. We lead the league in walks, but still have a horrific team OBP. So whether by hit or by walk, we need to get on base more.

    The trick, of course, is crossing home plate, at which we are particularly pathetic.

  23. the tourist on April 20th, 2011 11:57 am

    Yeah, to use Cust as an (extreme) example – he’s got a roughly league-average OBP, but as we’ve seen it’s largely due to the number of walks he’s taken.

    So what you’re saying is that getting on base at a league-average clip isn’t good enough if you’re not hitting? I know someone has to hit at some point (unless other teams keep walking us with the bases loaded), but if someone isn’t going to hit at least they’re walking. That, to me, makes Cust more valuable than a lot of our team from last year.

  24. the tourist on April 20th, 2011 12:01 pm

    There was a reason I linked walking/getting on base, which you chose to ignore for some reason.

    They don’t need to get on-base much more than they are. They get on base pretty well. What they need to do is hit a little better with RISP. So the getting on base is working. The converting it into runs isn’t, yet, though, for the most part.

  25. TomC on April 20th, 2011 12:24 pm

    I just checked baseball-reference.com and it shows that Seattle is: 1) leading the AL in walks; 2) dead last in batting average (I know, I know); 3) slightly below the AL league average this year in on-base-percentage (.317 vs. .318 league); 4) next to last in the AL for slugging percentage; and 5) 11 out of 14 in OPS+ (90 where 100 is the average).

    This tells me our plate discipline is encouraging, our hitting skills are not. How long before opposing pitchers start to just challenge us more and nibble at the edges less?

    By the way, I doubt that the ability to hit while runners are in scoring position is any different than the ability to hit as a whole.

    We just need better hitters.

  26. MrZDevotee on April 20th, 2011 12:26 pm

    OBP won’t be a problem once we get our batting averages somewhere near normal. Going into last night’s game, the lineup had a mere 2 guys batting over .250 (Bradley and Ichiro), and four guys batting under .200 (Olivo, Figgins, Cust, Langerhans).

    And I’m guessing as a team we HAVE to be at the bottom of the league in BABIP. Which is sort of the big “bad luck” indicator. These got posted in yesterday’s game thread, but it’s worth looking at again:

    BABIP
    Ryan Langerhans.067
    Chone Figgins .148
    Jack Wilson .207
    Michael Saunders .217
    Ichiro Suzuki .273

    Those are just for balls put in play, and are all ridiculous numbers, nearly impossible to repeat if they were trying to do it again.

    We’re never gonna be the Yankees or Rangers, of course, but we should level out to respectable sometime soon (I still think we’re capable of averaging 4+ runs a game this season– which is at least watchable, with our starting rotation).

  27. TomC on April 20th, 2011 12:29 pm

    The numbers cited above include last night’s offensive outburst, by the way.

  28. TomC on April 20th, 2011 12:33 pm

    Those are just for balls put in play, and are all ridiculous numbers, nearly impossible to repeat if they were trying to do it again.

    Yeah, we have been unlucky to some extent. This team is better than last year’s debacle of a line-up. However, it is still not good enough to overcome a run of bad luck, and (as marc is pointing out) it is boring to watch.

  29. joser on April 21st, 2011 5:17 pm

    And I’m guessing as a team we HAVE to be at the bottom of the league in BABIP

    Actually, according to the Fangraphs Leaderboards the Padres are about as bad as the M’s and there are another four teams (Nationals, Braves, Yankees, Orioles) with significantly worse BABIP.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.