Expectations were that Mike Carp would get another chance soon, but it won’t come at Jack Cust’s expense. The Mariners demoted Carlos Peguero to Triple-A to make room for Carp after Sunday’s loss to the Rangers.
The struggling Seattle offense totaled just two runs while the team was swept by the Rangers in a four-game series.
Cust played only once in the series, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in Friday’s loss. He’s 1-for-16 with nine strikeouts and three walks during July. For the season as a whole, his OBP stands at .348, easily the high mark of anyone who has spent the whole season with Seattle. However, he’s hitting just .207 with three homers and 23 RBI in 208 at-bats. Even with the solid OBP, he’s scored a total of 17 runs.
Peguero was way overmatched at the major league level, even if he did manage to hit six homers in 143 at-bats. He had a .196 average and a 54/8 K/BB ratio in 143 at-bats.
Carp, a natural first baseman, has seen most of his playing time in left field this year, but the Mariners chose Peguero over him last month because of his issues defensively. He’d seem to be the natural replacement in the DH slot for Cust. However, since the Mariners aren’t giving up on Cust yet, he’ll instead battle Greg Halman for playing time in left field.
Carp was hitting .341/.410/.651 with 21 homers and 64 RBI in 65 games for Triple-A Tacoma. He went 7-for-35 with no RBI in his time with the Mariners last month.
The Rangers will not sign free agent reliever Seung-hwan Oh after all. Reports from MLB.com’s TR Sullivan indicate that negotiations were brought to a halt after a physical issue was found with the pitcher. While the specifics have yet to be released, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News says the issue was revealed on an MRI of the right-hander’s arm.
Oh was thought to be in talks with the Rangers last week, though a deal was never officially announced by the club. The 35-year-old righty is fresh off of a two-year run with the Cardinals, during which he posted a cumulative 39 saves, 2.85 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 10.2 SO/9 in 139 innings. He struggled with consistency in his sophomore season, however, and finished 2017 with a disappointing 4.10 ERA and 4.44 FIP in 62 appearances for the team.
While Oh hasn’t experienced any setbacks with his arm in the majors so far, he does have a history of prior injuries during his time in KBO. He sustained a shoulder injury in 2009 and underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow in 2010. It’s possible that the Rangers saw an entirely different problem on the MRI, but clearly it was enough to give them strong reservations about inking the righty to a $2.75+ million deal. It’s still possible that another of Oh’s suitors will offer him a contract prior to Opening Day; the Giants were rumored to be interested in the veteran reliever, among other teams, though their recent acquisition of lefty reliever Tony Watson will likely take them out of the running now.