I posted this on Twitter last night on information from a very reliable source that 1B Mike Carp, 3B/1B Matt Mangini, OF Greg Halman and RHP Anthony Varvaro will join the Mariners on this road trip as September call-ups.
The Mariners just confirmed it this morning with a press release.
Noticeably missing from this list of players are 2B Dustin Ackley and RHP Josh Lueke.
Ackley, who's been basically been playing baseball non-stop since signing his professional contract, will get a brief break before beginning play in the Arizona Fall League.
I talked to him about his schedule and there was about a 10-day break during last Christmas that allowed him to go home, other than that, it's been all baseball.
It would have been nice to see Ackley at the big league level. But there is no reason to rush him.
Lueke confirmed that he wasn't called up on his Twitter feed.
Thanks everyone for a wonderful season even tho I didn’t get called up it was still a wonderful time and a true blessing that I got to be introduced to a new family and a great group of guys everyone has accepted me and has been awesome to play with or be around I love everything about the #mariners and ill be going to fall ball on Oct 6 so tune in to some of those tweets.
Lueke will also play in the Arizona Fall League as well, but I think there are other underlying, much-discussed reasons for his lack of a call-up.
As for the call-ups, we all know about Carp, who's gotten several chances at the big league level.
This season Carp hit .257 with career-high 29 homers and 76 RBI with a .328 on-base percentage and a .526 slugging percentage. However those numbers have yet to translate to success in the major leagues. Some people believe he's destined to a AAAA player. With Justin Smoak ahead of him at first base, Carp could be running out of opportunities. Carp has played left field often this season, and they could put him out there. But he's far from comfortable at that position.
Halman has been a Mariners prospect for the past few years. But the vast number of strikeouts and poor pitch recognition has made his stock drop some. This year he hit .243 with 33 homers and 80 RBI with 15 stolen bases. He struck out 169 times in 424 at-bats.
He's immensely talented. When he hits the ball, he hits it hard. It's power that the Mariners simply don't have on the 25-man roster. However, he's going to have some ugly at-bats against major league pitching. He's not going to see many fastballs. Realistically, he needs another year in Triple A for some seasoning. But a call-up might offer him a glimpse of what it takes to have success at the big league level - specifically learning and developing an approach at the plate.
Mangini, who wasn't on the 40-man roster, was added to the remaining open spot. He wasn't a heralded prospect coming into this season, but he's turned a few head this season with his play, particularly at the plate. He hit .313 with 18 homers and 63 RBI with a .352 OBP and a .521 slugging percentage.
"He impressed me this year," Mariners manager Daren Brown said of Mangini a few weeks back. "Coming into the year, really didn’t know what to expect from him. I’d seen his numbers at AA. He had shown some power, .270-.280. I didn’t expect him to come in and hit .310. Hit 18 or 19 HR. Third base, you can look at numbers, made 20-some errors. Offensively, he’s come a long way. He’s played 3B, 1B, so he’s leaving his options open where he could play. He’s an interesting guy. He’s performed well down there. It makes you start thinking can he do it up there. You’ll always looking for a guy who can come up and be an offensive impact."
Defense has been Mangini's biggest problem. One scout called him " a butcher at third base." He can play first base, but there's already a logjam there. But I think the Mariners are more concerned about finding out whether he can hit at the higher level.
Varvaro is a right-handed reliever. He has some decent splits against right-handers. He's a set-up guy and not much more. Obviously, Lueke has more potential. But Varvaro was on the 40-man roster and he's an extra arm for the ballpark.