Larry Stone of the Seattle Times reports that the Mariners are considering making Casey Kotchman their number three hitter behind Ichiro and Figgins. What’s more, Milton Bradley is probably going to bat cleanup. I haven’t been paying all that much attention to the Mariners’ spring, so my first thought was “that makes no sense!” Upon reflection, though, who else is going to hit 3-4? Jack Wilson? Franklin Gutierrez? Griffey?
For all of the excitement about the moves the Mariners made this winter, the fact remains that there ain’t a heck of a lot of pop in that lineup. And with Casey Kotchman (a slow, groundball hitter) and Milton Bradley (Milton Bradley) going 3-4, you’re going to see a lot of innings like this:
Kotchman: 4-6-3 double play;
Bradley: strikeout looking, ejected after blinking;
Not that I’m hating on the Mariners. Good pitching and stellar defense goes a long way. But once in a while you have to hit the ball over the fence, and I don’t know who’s going to be doing that for Seattle.
Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal reports that Mets second baseman Neil Walker is expected to undergo season-ending surgery to fix a herniated disk in his lower back. Walker has avoided the disabled list but hasn’t played since last Saturday and has only two starts since August 22.
If Walker does indeed go under the knife, he’ll end his first season with the Mets with a terrific .282/.347/.476 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 55 RBI in 458 plate appearances. While the Mets couldn’t have foreseen Daniel Murphy having such a terrific season, Walker was more than adequate in Murphy’s shoes at second base.
Kelly Johnson and Wilmer Flores have handled second base in Walker’s absence and will continue to do so through the remainder of the season.
Rockies 1B/OF Stephen Cardullo celebrated his 29th birthday on Wednesday, so the rookie decided to celebrate by homering in both games of his team’s doubleheader at home against the Dodgers.
In the first game, Cardullo pinch-hit for Chris Rusin in the seventh inning and drilled a solo home run off of Casey Fien. In the second game, Cardullo smacked a grand slam to left-center field off of Bud Norris in the first inning.
Cardullo made his major league debut this past Friday. He was hitless in his first five at-bats before singling as a pinch-hitter on Monday.