Peguero rejoins Mariners as Noesi sent to Tacoma
The Mariners need some offensive punch. They don’t need a fifth starter for the moment. So Hector Noesi was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday and the club recalled outfielder Carlos Peguero, who has hit home runs in five straight games for the Rainiers.
Noesi certainly could use some time in Triple-A to work on things. He’s struggled in Seattle in his first year as a full-time starter, his record falling to 2-11 with a 5.77 ERA after losing to the Orioles on Wednesday.
And with the upcoming All-Star break, Seattle won’t need a fifth starter for the next 10 days. The Mariners are off Thursday, then play three games against the A’s this weekend before hitting the four-day break.
Kevin Millwood, Jason Vargas and Felix Hernandez will start the three games in Oakland and conceivably the first three games against Texas after the break. So it’s possible the club won’t need a fourth or fifth starting pitcher until opening a road trip in Kansas City on July 16.
Rookie Erasmo Ramirez is currently on the 15-day disabled list with a sore elbow, but he’s eligible to come off the DL on July 16. The club could recall Noesi by July 17, or give Hisashi Iwakuma another start. The long reliever from Japan made his first spot start on Monday against the Orioles and went five innings with three hits and three runs.
In the meantime, Peguero provides an extra left-handed bat with some power. Peguero, 25, has hit .342 (13-for-38) with 12 RBIs and six home runs over his past 10 games and is now batting .293 with 18 home runs and 41 RBIs in 49 games with Tacoma.
The 6-foot-5, 245-pounder missed a month earlier this year after having surgery on a torn media meniscus in his right knee, but still ranks third in the Pacific Coast league in home runs. He homered in his last five games, including a grand slam on Wednesday at Salt Lake.
Peguero showed flashes of power last season, but also a penchant to strike out. He played 46 games with Seattle, hitting .196 with six home runs and 19 RBIs in 143 at-bats. With Casper Wells playing well since his return from Tacoma and Franklin Gutierrez likely back from the concussion DL after the All-Star break, it’s hard to imagine Peguero getting too much time in the outfield, but we’ll see what manager Eric Wedge says Friday in Oakland.
At least the Mariners can get a look at Peguero’s progress and have an added pinch hitter and left-handed DH candidate for the time being.
In that same vein, Mike Carp has also joined Tacoma to begin an injury rehab assignment, Carp, recovering from a shoulder issue that has hampered him since an Opening Day injury in Tokyo, went 1-for-5 with an RBI and run scored while playing designated hitter on Wednesday in Salt Lake.
Carp will DH and play first base for the Rainiers as the Mariners attempt to get him healthy without putting further strain on his right shoulder this season. Carp has 20 days maximum to rehab in Tacoma before the Mariners need to make a decision on whether he’s ready and how he might fit back into the mix as well.