June 28, 2013 at 9:06 AM
Mariners pulling out all stops, call Brad Miller up for tonight’s game
Mariners manager Eric Wedge had a look of resignation about him Wednesday when discussing his team’s offensive futility. Well, the Mariners look to be doing all they can to try to jumpstart it, calling Brad Miller up from Class AAA for tonight’s game.
Carlos Triunfel is likely back to Tacoma, since the Mariners will already have plenty of infielders who can handle the shortstop spot and other positions in a pinch.
With Brendan Ryan back to his sub-.200 ways, hitting just .196, the Mariners need to do something about their attrocious bottom third of the order. The idea was to keep Miller in AAA as long as possible to eliminate Super 2 arbitration concerns and to get him as prepared as possible for the big leagues.
Well, the Super 2 cut-off point has likely been passed by now — late June typically being the time in recent years, though you’re never 100 percent sure with these things. And while the Mariners would have preferred to wait a couple more weeks until the All-Star Break before making this move, Miller’s development isn’t going to be all that impacted by this.
First off, he’s been playing shortstop his entire career, so he isn’t learning a new position like Dustin Ackley did. He doesn’t have to perfect multiple areas like Mike Zunino did as a catcher.
The Mariners are likely encouraged by what they’ve seen out of Zunino thus far and figure, hey, why not give Miller his chance right now? If he can hit even .200, we’re ahead of where we are with Ryan.
As for Ryan, he’s a candidate to be traded next month and can help tutor Miller a bit right now as he breaks into the big leagues. Everybody knows what Ryan can do with his glove. But if he keeps playing every day and his hitting numbers keep dropping, he won’t be doing his trade numbers any favors.
This way, if Miller gets some reps, maybe Ryan can collect himself for a bit and then start hitting again to boost some value once more.
That latter part isn’t very likely — his trade value is pretty much established — but it can’t hurt. The only way for the Mariners to salvage anything from this season is to get as much of their future as possible on to the field, have some second-half success and then try to sell folks on this rebuilding plan eventually working out.
It may be a longshot.
But an infield with Miller, Nick Franklin and Kyle Seager, with Dustin Ackley and Zunino up the middle and — the Mariners hope — an eventually-turned-around Michael Saunders in one of the outfield corners could sell some promise for 2014.
And that’s about all that’s left for this 2013 season.