Why Carlos Peguero?
Carlos Peguero went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts on Wednesday, dropping his average to .194. (AP photo)
This is one of the questions I get the most these days: Why is Carlos Peguero
getting the playing time he is when we see the wild swings and defensive shortcomings?
I can tell you that he has been taking extra early work in the field and the defense is being addressed by the coaches. As for the offense, Eric Wedge has said on numerous occasions that Peguero brings the threat of hitting one out every time he steps to the plate and that is something that this lineup has needed.
His games have been frustrating. O’fers with wild strikeouts then some improbable sac fly for a run or maybe even a home run. You can’t say he hasn’t contributed. The misplays in the field? While he has made some plays, he’s missed others, and some have been just plain ugly.
What we haven’t seen is consistency (of the good variety). I don’t think I am as down on him as some are but I question whether he is progressing and if not, when should we expect to see that progress?
I asked Wedge today what he was specifically looking for from Peguero.
“I love his aggressiveness obviously, but obviously it is a little over the top, too. He gets a little jumpy up there at times,” Wedge said. “I watch his BP, which yesterday was as good as I have seen it. Impressive, and the baseball in me believes that it is going to leak into the game.”
Staying tall, using all parts of the field plus almost effortless power is what he has seen in batting practice. Of course plate discipline is not something you work on in BP and Wedge addressed this, too.
“I think that with more at bats the consistency he has up there, the discipline is going to come,” he said. “I don’t think we are ever going to call him a disciplined hitter but that is not part of who he is. He is an aggressive, damage-type of hitter, which is what we want. But he is going to have to see the ball better and be a little bit more in control up there.”
Would it be better to work on this at Triple-A? Wedge is a believer in the value of young players seeing big-league pitching.
“There is no other way you can get what you need to get in regard to big-league pitching,” he answered.
He called the difference between what you can get here vs. Triple-A “considerable.” Finding the consistency is the key. For now, what Wedge is seeing the majority of the time is potential.
“You’ve seen bits and pieces but we have seen him do some things up there with the baseball that are pretty good,” he said.
Wedge is not the only one intrigued by the potential. I have spoken with others in the organization who point to his athleticism and power as something that is worth being excited about and what this team needs if he reaches that potential. For now, Wedge seems committed to trying to bring it out at this level.