The Seattle Mariners sent young outfielders Carlos Peguero and Greg Halman to Triple-A Tacoma, hoping that the duo could cut down on their strikeouts and improve their plate discipline.
Both players have been offensive forces in the Pacific Coast League, but there has been no noticeable improvement in the strikeout area.
Halman re-joined the Rainiers on Aug. 4 after spending two months on the Mariners’ bench. He has played in 14 games for Tacoma, hitting .367 with 22 hits in 60 at-bats.
However, the strikeouts are still there: he has 19 of them, against five walks.
Peguero has been in Tacoma’s lineup since July 18, although he is currently on the seven-day disabled list with a very mild calf strain (he is expected to return this week). Peguero has played in 27 games for Tacoma since being optioned, hitting .353 with seven home runs and 30 RBI.
However, Peguero has struck out 38 times in 119 at-bats, and he has only three unintentional walks. He has not drawn a walk in his last 80 at-bats.
How do you encourage a hitter to have patience when he is batting over .350?
“It’s tough to argue when guys are hitting .330 or .340,” Tacoma hitting coach Alonzo Powell said. “Both of those guys have gone through stretches where it looks like they’re putting things together, and then here comes three strikeouts in a game, and the next day there’s two strikeouts.
“It’s constant work, constant maintenance, constant talking to these guys in the cage.”
Mariners shortstop prospect Nick Franklin returned to the lineup at Double-A Jackson on Friday night, and he announced his presence with authority.
After missing seven weeks with both a concussion and a bout with a particularly nasty case of food poisoning, Franklin went 3-for-4, including a triple in his first at-bat, in his return.
Heading to an Everett AquaSox game any time soon?
Try to catch them on a day when 19-year-old Venezuelan Jose Campos is on the mound.
Campos is the next fast-rising Mariners pitching prospect. Working with a fastball that can surpass 95 mph, Campos has a 2.37 ERA in 12 starts for the Aqua Sox, with an incredible 70-10 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 68 innings pitched.
Campos and outfielder Jabari Blash (.279 average, 10 homers, 32 RBI and .600 slugging percentage) are big reasons why Everett is in first place with a three-game lead in the Northwest League second-half standings.
Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers.