There were several transactions within the Mariners organization over the weekend. Some were minor, some were more significant, but all could have some potentially interesting consequences down the road.
First and foremost, the Mariners have optioned both OF Carlos Peguero and RHP Josh Lueke to Tacoma, calling up RHP Dan Cortes from the Rainiers and activating 1B Justin Smoak from the bereavement list. Smoak had missed the last six days with the Mariners during their last homestand after the passing of his father, and will re-join the team tomorrow in Detroit. Cortes has been Tacoma’s closer so far this year, posting a 3.24 ERA over six games and 8 1/3 innings pitched. He gave up three runs on nine hits, posting a 9/4 strikeout to walk ratio and giving up one homer.
Peguero, who had been called up to Seattle to replace Smoak on the roster, recording just two hits in 11 at-bats in his six days in Seattle. Peguero was enjoying a nice start to his 2011 season with Tacoma prior to the callup, but he was clearly not ready for and over-matched by major league pitching, as evidenced by his five strikeouts and zero walks.
Lueke made the Mariners out of spring training, had a very rough go of things in his first tour of major league duty. In eight relief appearances spanning six and a third innings, Lueke gave up 12 runs on 12 hits, posting a frighteningly high 17.05 ERA, and generating just an 8/6 K/BB ratio. Lueke had one dominating performance against the Blue Jays on the day of the miraculous comeback two weeks ago, but otherwise has varied between mediocre and bad.
Most concerning for Lueke is that his velocity, command, and “stuff” were all noticeably lesser than what it’s been in the past. Hopefully he can find himself again in AAA and return to the majors a better pitcher, but his situation is one that bears watching to see if he comes up with an injury.
Also, Justin Miller has opted out of his contract with the Mariners and elected to try for another major league job via free agency. He was probably performing the best out of Tacoma’s relievers, which makes his decision odd considering the M’s bullpen issues. His walk rate was concerningly high, however, at over 5 walks per nine innings so far on the year.
Elsewhere, the Jackson Generals placed OF Eddy Martinez-Esteve back on the DL with a shoulder injury, replacing him with 21-year old utilityman Jorge Agudelo from extended spring camp. They also activated LHP Donald Hume from the DL and sent him down to the High Desert Mavericks, who had placed LHP Nick Czyz on the DL. Czyz had a great first start for the Mavericks, but got beat around in his second.
Not to be outdone, the Clinton LumberKings made a DL swap of their own, placing RHP Fray Martinez on the DL while activating RHP Jonathan Arias.
On a side note, this is already the 50th post on MFR. It’s been a busy few weeks. Thanks again for all the support.