Thursday, March 29, 2012

Carp hurt, recalls memories of Mike Morse

Deja Vu for the Mariners in a number of different senses this morning. No scoring, a flimsy bullpen, and a non-natural outfielder being put in the outfield and getting hurt.

No, Carp isn't expected to be out more than a week or two, unlike Mike Morse half a decade ago. But both are natural infielders who, thanks to a combination of players blocking their natural positions and improperly used DH slots, were shoved into the grass out in front of the hand operated scoreboard.

Morse was coming off an absolutely stunning spring that year, hitting .492 with a slugging pct. of over 1.3. But his natural position of SS was filled (Morse didn't have the range for it in MLB anyway), first base was filled by a declining Richie Sexson, and our DH was one Jose Vidro. Morse wasn't even the starting left fielder, with the Mariners dead-set on putting BRAD FREAKING WILKERSON out in the field. (Wilkerson was cut less than a month into the season.)

So, despite the fact that Mike Morse had only sparring played outfield in his previous baseball career, someone in the Mariners coaching circle decided to spend half a summer trying to adjust him to the outfield.

Morse played in 5 games that year before taking an awkward slide going after a pop fly and hurting his leg bad enough that the rest of the season was out of the question. He has since been traded and, while note elite, is playing better than the majority of first basemen in the league.

Carp isn't coming off a blazing spring training, but instead a rather promising second-half of 2011. He also has a little more experience with the outfield than Morse did. But his position today is ostensibly being filled by Miguel Olivo. I won't compare him to Brad Wilkerson or Jose Vidro, but the fact is that we have a catcher on the roster that would make more sense for this team actually playing behind the plate, rather than filling the DH position on an interim basis. Jesus Montero should be catching, and Mike Carp should be the starting DH. Casper Wells, Carlos Pegeruo, or Chone Figgins should be out there, and Kyle Seager, Alex Liddi, or Vinnie Catricala should be at third.

Carp seems to have a decent bat, but he is a straight-up liability on defense. The Mariners have a potentially good lineup on their roster, they just need to put the right puzzle pieces out on the field in the right spots. Carp's piece does not fit in left.

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