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Minor Youth Movement Begins

Mike Wilson
Gone are Ryan Langerhans and Milton Bradley. In their places are Carlos Peguero and Mike Wilson.

Obviously, the most interesting part of all of this is that Bradley is gone, and his baseball career might very well be over. I could say something, but plenty has already been said.

Instead, I will take a look at what this means on the field. It is a puzzling pair of moves, though in the end they might not make any sort of difference.

Carlos Peguero is not ready for the majors. I think the Mariners knows that too, but he is up until Franklin Gutierrez is good enough to come back. While Peguero has prodigious power, he also has prodigious holes in his swing and approach at the plate which are too easy for MLB pitchers to pick on. I hope the he uncorks a massive home run while he is up, but I'm not holding my breath. Catching him in batting practice would be a good idea though.

Mike Wilson is as ready for the majors as he will ever get. He is a burly right-handed hitter that flashes plus power, but doesn't quite have the bat control or command of the strike zone to fully harness it. With that said, he has it harnessed enough to go on torrid streaks, much like the one he has been on in Tacoma to start this season. An OPS of 1.111 out of left field sound good to anyone else?

From a human interest perspective, it's easy to root for Wilson. He was drafted by the Mariners in the second round of the 2001 draft. He has spent almost a decade in the M's system, waiting for his call. He even bounced a bit between AA and AAA the past couple seasons as other prospects have breezed past him. Despite the demotions and getting kicked off the 40-man roster, Wilson stuck it out with the Mariners, and now he gets his shot in the majors. As a fan, I want him to have at least one unforgettable moment. I'd really love it if he could be the next Garrett Jones, a player that hung around the upper levels of the minors a while before grasping on to what looked like an unassuming opportunity.

The reality is that I think Peguero and Wilson are replacement level at best. If these moves were made in July or August, they would be a clear sign that the M's are taking a look at potential pieces for the future. The Mariners might still be doing that now, but it's hard to say so early in the season, in the midst of a hot streak that got the team back in contention (albeit still early in the season).

So far this season though, Langerhans and Bradley were worse than replacement level by the numbers. While I don't think the Mariners called up any sort of solution today, they didn't create any new problems. They might actually be better. They definitely improved their power potential.

It is a weird pair of moves. I liked the idea of Wilson replacing Bradley, but I don't see the point in replacing Langerhans with Peguero. I know the moves were technically the reverse of what I just listed, but I think Wilson has the better chance to play regularly and succeed right now. Plus, without Langerhans, the Mariners don't really have a backup centerfielder now behind Michael Saunders. It seems like the M's made room for both of these guys, and neither are the type that I would actively make room for in the majors.

I don't see how today's moves could turn out bad, but they strike me as odd. They wreak of giving up and/or desperation, but clearly can't be either, given how early it is in the season, along with the M's recent surge. I guess they are what they are, and we'll see what they become.