Game 138, Mariners at A’s
Update: Since it’s Labor Day weekend, posting may be kind of light. Feel free to use this as a game thread for Sunday’s and Monday’s games if we don’t get separate posts up for those.
Pineda vs. McCarthy, 1:05.
Smoak is back in the field today. Since Smoak has been thought of as a better prospect than Carp, it was assumed that he would block Carp, which is a big reason why Carp was ever tried in the outfield. That apparently motivated some of Carp’s improved conditioning, which may contribute to him turning into a better hitter. Not that Carp should really be an outfielder, especially with how many other possibilities there are that can field the position better.
At that point, then the question becomes whether you want Smoak at first and Carp at DH, like today, or Carp at first and Smoak at DH, like yesterday. Smoak has usually been considered the better defender, but it’s not clear that he’ll perform to the glowing reputation he had in some circles when he was acquired. Carp, meanwhile, is not spectacular but not a total disaster either. Smoak is still probably the better option of the two defensively, but the difference is not so dramatic that you can’t switch back and forth a little. It can keep both of them well-rested while keeping them in the lineup, and they can both learn how to adjust to the rhythms of DHing so their hitting doesn’t suffer too much.