Mariners hold on to Jack Cust, demote Carlos Peguero

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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 Cubs will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday

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The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.

The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.

Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.

The matchups for Tuesday’s action:

Carter Capps to undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome

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Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.

Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.

The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.