Wedge: Peguero may have as much upside as anyone
By Brady Henderson
Until Franklin Gutierrez returns from his post-concussion issues, Ichiro’s departure creates an opening for some of the Mariners’ young outfield prospects.
When Eric Wedge was asked about that during his conversation with “Brock and Salk” on Wednesday, the first name out of the manager’s mouth was that of Carlos Peguero.
Entering Wednesday’s game, Carlos Peguero was hitting .185 with a home run and 13 strikeouts in 27 at-bats. (AP)
“Peguero’s probably the one guy we’re giving more opportunity to,” Wedge said. “If you think about upside, arguably he has as much upside as anybody.”
Wedge and the Mariners seem most intrigued by Peguero’s power, something the organization isn’t exactly overflowing with. Peguero hit 13 home runs in 57 games for the Rainiers last season and 18 in 49 games before he was called up earlier this month. He’s hit seven home runs in 54 games with the Mariners over the last two seasons.
Then there is the issue of making contact, which Peguero has struggled to do at an alarming rate both in Triple-A and the majors. He struck out 147 times in 428 at-bats over the last two seasons with Tacoma, and 67 times in 170 at-bats with the Mariners.
“If you talk about sabermetrics and this that and the other,” Wedge said, as if to acknowledge the metrics that illustrate Peguero’s contact issues, “the ball … comes off his bat harder than anybody in baseball. There’s some upside in there so we’ll see what happens.”
As for Gutierrez, Wedge said he got a “clean bill of health” on Tuesday.
“We’re hoping to get him involved in some baseball activity here before we go on the road, and then hopefully get him on a rehab [assignment],” Wedge said. “But we’ve been here before so we’ll see how that plays out.”