Eric Wedge calls out Mariners vets
Jun 7, 2011, 10:56 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2011, 12:44 am
Chicago’s Carlos Quentin reaches first after a throwing error by Mariners third baseman Chone Figgins pulled first baseman Justin Smoak off the bag during the seventh inning. (AP Photo)
The temperature could reach 100 degrees here in Chicago tomorrow but Eric Wedge turned up the heat tonight after the Mariners’ 5-1 loss to the White Sox.
“We have got some of these veteran offensive players that need to be doing better,” he said animatedly outside the clubhouse after the game. “People that we are counting on need to be doing better. It’s a simple as that. We’re damn near two and a half months into the season and we have got guys that need to be doing better.”
Wedge said that it is a different case for the young players on the team. Tonight he saw something from some of his veterans that he didn’t like. When I asked what he does now, he would not elaborate but he stressed that it would be addressed.
“When you do see it you have got to right it,” he said. “They have got to recognize it. It is not good enough if I recognize it. They sure as hell should recognize it.”
From what I have seen in the clubhouse and on the field I doubt that he is talking about Adam Kennedy, Miguel Olivo or Franklin Gutierrez. These are guys that when not hitting fight hard to contribute in the field, and Kennedy and Olivo are seen by Wedge as leaders in the clubhouse.
Wedge most likely was talking about Chone Figgins and Ichiro, who have been mired in slumps at the plate. He has been patient and supportive with both but in retrospect I wonder if a comment he made last week was directed at them as well. In talking about his struggling hitters, which included far more guys than Figgins and Ichiro, Wedge said that sometimes a player needs to be extreme in the changes he makes.
“What you can’t do is go up there and do the same damn thing over and over again and expect different results,” he said when addressing some of the offensive struggles.
Is he seeing the same thing each night from those two? Or perhaps Jack Cust? Or how about Louis Rodriguez? He is a veteran who was brought in to fill a role and tonight he makes an error, throws high on two occasions and does not get a ball up the middle. I don’t think I even need to mention that Figgins has made his fair share of errors as well. Wedge doesn’t want to hear about the possibility of a player taking his offense out to the field with him on defense.
“It can’t (happen) though,” Wedge said. “It can’t. You have got to separate your offense from your defense and have 100 percent focus on what you are doing out there defensively when you are on defense, 100 percent focus when you are on home plate and 100 percent focus when you are on the basepaths.”
We haven’t always seen this and after two and a half months Eric Wedge’s patience is wearing thin.
“This should be a gut check for them tonight because this is not the way we play and this is not the way we are going to play,” he said.
Moving on. Some quick thoughts on Mike Carp, who was called up after the game.
I would expect him to play in left field nearly every day. You don’t sit a guy who has been hitting the way he has. You let him try and keep the streak going. What does this mean for Carlos Peguero and Greg Halman? Well, I would expect Halman to become Gutierrez’s backup and a defensive replacement in left late in games. Peguero or Halman could play right field if we see more DH days for Ichiro. Both could see time at DH as well or play left with Carp at DH.
Peguero I believe is still here because Wedge and the coaching staff believe that he can progress here even without much playing time. Wedge likes the work he is doing with hitting coach Chris Chambliss and has likes his maturity off the field and the way he works in batting practice. If Carp looks like he is going to settle in in left field I would imagine Peguero eventually will be sent down to get regular playing time, but for now it would appear Wedge would like for him to have the opportunity to work with the coaches up here.
It will be very interesting to see the lineup tomorrow.