Seattle – The Seattle Mariners might have a number of players coming back after the All-Star break – Franklin Gutierrez, Mike Carp, Erasmo Ramirez – but for the next few days, the team will be looking at outfielder Carlos Peguero.
Brought up from Tacoma on Thursday, Peguero started in right field Friday, and manager Eric Wedge made it clear he wanted to see the 25-year-old.
“We’re going to try to get him in as much as we can,” Wedge said.
Well, that would be the final three games before the All-Star break, which begins Monday. After the break?
Wedge wouldn’t promise Peguero would stick with the team beyond the break.
“We’ve got Gutierrez (concussion) and Carp (shoulder strain), who’ll be coming back. We’ve got an extra man in the bullpen right now, and Erasmo Ramirez will miss the first start after the break, then rejoin the rotation,” Wedge said.
Simply put, Peguero needs a hot series to stay.
On Friday, regular right fielder Ichiro Suzuki was the designated hitter, with Casper Wells in left field, and Michael Saunders in center field.
In 49 games with Triple-A Tacoma, Peguero batted .295 with 18 home runs and 41 RBI – the kind of production the Mariners dream about.
“I’ve been working with (batting coach) Jeff Pentland, hitting off a tee every day,” Peguero said. “I’m more patient at the plate. I work on hitting pitches in the strike zone, not every pitch the pitcher throws.
“I have a lot of expectations, a lot of confidence. I feel ready to be here.”
For at least the new few days, he’ll stay.
Florida catcher Mike Zunino has been selected as the winner of the Golden Spikes Award, given to the nation’s top amateur baseball player.
Zunino, the No. 3 overall pick by Seattle in last month’s draft, beat out Stanford right-hander Mark Appel for the award.
The award is the latest in a lengthy list of honors for Zunino that included Baseball America’s player of the year and the Johnny Bench Award winner as the nation’s top catcher.
MONTERO SITS OUT
Catcher Jesus Montero came out of the Mariners game Wednesday with a mild concussion, taking a foul ball off his catchers mask – and if it had been up to him, he’d probably have played Friday.
“I feel better, thank God,” Montero said.
“Day-to-day,” Wedge said of the rookie.
Asked if Montero were close, Wedge shook his head.
“He’s closer,” Wedge said. “It’s not as bad as Gutierrez, but this isn’t something you rush.”
Reliever Stephen Pryor, on the disabled list with a groin strain, threw a simulated game Friday and will report to the Mariners Class A team in California. He’ll get work there, then likely return to Tacoma if not Seattle within a few weeks. ... Gutierrez was eligible to come off the seven-day disabled list after suffering a concussion but won’t. “Next week may be optimistic.” ... If it weren’t for home games, third baseman Kyle Seager would almost certainly have been an All-Star. In his first 38 road games, Seager batted .316 with eight home runs and 33 RBI. ... Wedge said after the All-Star break, pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma will be in the starting rotation, at least until Ramirez returns.
Seattle plays at Oakland today at 7:10 p.m. on Root Sports. Probable starting pitchers: Jason Vargas (7-7, 4.31 ERA) vs. Jarrod Parker (5-3, 2.46).firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/mariners @LarryLarue