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June 7, 2011 at 4:18 PM

So, what are the Mariners looking for in Mike Carp and others of his ilk? Eric Wedge tries to explain

With M’s prospect Mike Carp hitting about .600 with a gazillion home runs in Class AAA, many folks are wondering what Seattle is waiting for when it comes to calling him up. After all, they can read the same stat sheets the Mariners do, right? That’s all there is to it, I guess.
No, not really.
But what else is there to it? What the heck are they looking for?
M’s manager Eric Wedge tried to explain some of it in the dugout a few minutes ago.
“The tricky thing is just the level to level thing,” Wedge said. “You have to evaluate the competition. You have to evaluate the swing. Not on a AAA level but on a big league level. And that’s why you have to trust what Brownie (Tacoma manager Daren Brown) and (AAA hitting coach) Alonzo (Powell) are seeing. (M’s director of minor league development) Pedro (Grifol) , when they go in there.”
Brown, Powell and Grifol all had experience as coaches with the Mariners last year after manager Don Wakamatsu and his staff were dismissed with eight weeks to go in the season. Wedge said that’s been beneficial as well.
“It can’t just be about results,” Wedge said. “It has to be” ‘Is that swing, is that approach, going to play up here?’ And that’s where that experience of being up here and understanding the difference between AAA and the big leagues comes into play. I think the fact that Alonzo and Brownie were with us all spring and they understad what we’re looking for, what the challenges are with each individual out there and the fact that we communicate…that’s what you have to do.”


Wedge had heard the daily reports on Carp, not just from reading the boxscores, but from speaking to those who are watching his swings. And Wedge likes what he’s heard.
So, what’s been most impressive?
“I just think it’s his overall consistency,” Wedge said. “The fact that he’s been at that level before and he’s taken advantage of his prior experiences to be more consistent this year. His swing is in tune, so the power is shining through as well.”
Michael Saunders also got off off to a decent AAA start, going 4-for-7 last night with a double to lift his average to .286.
“It’s good for him to get a couple of hits to get started down there,” Wedge said. “Hopefully he can get off to a good start, but more importantly, it’s no so much about his results as it is about finidng his swing. A swing that’s going to play up here.”
Wedge is giving Greg Halman the night off tonight, meaning Carlos Peguero is back in left. Peguero has looked better of late and will have to keep it up with Carp breathing down his neck.

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