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July 6, 2011 at 11:56 AM

Eric Wedge on Carlos Peguero: loves his batting practice, huge difference between MLB pitching and Class AAA

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Eric Wedge was in a jovial pre-game mood. And why wouldn’t he be? His Mariners have taken the first two games of this series and have a shot at the sweep this afternoon prior to closing out the pre-All Star portion of the schedule with four games in Anaheim.
Last night’s game almost got away from Wedge. But it didn’t. His team overcame that ninth-inning blown lead and prevailed in the 10th.
Carlos Peguero is back in the lineup today, batting sixth and playing left field. There are increasing questions being asked about why Peguero keeps playing. He’s hitting only .198 and is not quite a Gold Glove defender in left. Looked like he hesitated on that blooper in the ninth last night that fell in for the tying hit.
Wedge keeps saying that he likes what he sees from Peguero. So, today, we asked him to get specific. What exactly does he see in the .198 hitter that he likes?
“I love his aggressiveness, obviously,” Wedge said. “But obviously, it’s a little bit over the top too. He gets a little jumpy up there at times.
“I watch his BP, which yesterday was as good as I’ve seen it. It was impressive. And,,,I just believe it’s going to leak into his game. We’ve seen bits and pieces of it.”
Wedge believes he needs more at-bats and consistency. He doesn’t see Peguero ever becoming a disciplined type of hitter. More like an aggressive, damage-causing one.
“But he’s going to have to see the ball better, be a little bit more under control,” Wedge added.
What does he see in Peguero’s BP?
“Just the way he stays tall, uses his hands, gets the barrel of the ball and drives it,” he said. “Drives it all over the place.”

And so, the question: wouldn’t he benefit more from playing every day in Class AAA? Wedge says no.
“There’s no other way you can get what you need to get unless you’re up here, with regards to major league pitching,” Wedge said. “There’s just such a difference between here and AAA. Think about your fifth starter, or your long guy in the pen and they’re all better than the ace down there.
“Then you’ve got four other guys pitching down there, too. So, you can do that math. It’s considerable.”
What’s the biggest difference?
“Just stuff,” he said. “Command, or more so control. But just overall stuff. Fastballs and cutters and changeups. And two seamers that are falling off the table. And they’re doing it in the (strike) zone too. So, it’s kind of across the board. Stuff and control and that’s why it’s such a considerable difference.
“So many teams now, in this day and age, if you’ve got something, then they’re up here.”
The lineups:
Mariners (43-43)
51 Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
26 Brendan Ryan SS
4 Adam Kennedy (L) DH
17 Justin Smoak (S) 1B
13 Dustin Ackley (L) 2B
8 Carlos Peguero (L) LF
21 Franklin Gutierrez CF
3 Josh Bard (S) C
9 Chone Figgins (S) 3B
38 Jason Vargas LHP
Athletics (38-49)
19 Jemile Weeks (S) 2B
29 Scott Sizemore 3B
4 Coco Crisp CF
55 Hideki Matsui (L) DH
22 Chris Carter 1B
28 Conor Jackson LF
12 David DeJesus (L) RF
8 Kurt Suzuki C
2 Cliff Pennington (S) SS
52 Guillermo Moscoso RHP

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