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January 31, 2013 at 8:23 AM

What Casper Wells must do to up his stock with the Mariners

Mariners outfielder Casper Wells has some work to do if he’s to convince team he’s more than just a part-time player. Photo Credit: AP

One of the questions that has continued to pop up all winter long as the Mariners keep adding outfielders is “What about Casper Wells?”

Indeed, what about Wells? We’re still less than two years removed from the Doug Fister trade with the Tigers in which Wells arrived in Seattle as possibly the front-liner to the deal. Folks forget how valued Wells once was in Detroit as a prospect, with the idea that he might one day be that team’s everyday center fielder. That ended when the Tigers acquired Austin Jackson from the Yankees, but the point is, Wells was a versatile enough athlete that he was viewed as a potential star at three outfield positions.

That star had faded somewhat as a prospect by the time the Mariners acquired him. But it’s safe to say the Mariners viewed Wells as at least a major league regular in the outfield corners as well as a potential backup in center field. Today, Wells is viewed as a fourth outfielder and one who might not hang on to that role if some additional moves are made.

So, what happened? Better still, how can Wells rehabilitate his image within his own organization?

Not to go all CSI on you, but the forensic examination as to what killed Wells’s reputation won’t take very long. It wouldn’t even fill 15 minutes of an hour-long episode. All the evidence needed is contained in the period of June 28 through Aug. 7, when the Mariners allowed Wells to start in 34 consecutive games.

His results: a .209 batting average, .267 on-base percentage, .381 slugging percentage and .648 OPS with 36 strikeouts and only 8 walks in 151 plate appearances.

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