A colossal flop as Seattle’s designated hitter, Jack Cust was designated for assignment Friday to make room for Erik Bedard on the roster.
Cust had just three homers and 23 RBI in 225 at-bats for the Mariners. He was getting on base at a .344 clip, but his slugging percentage of .329 was barely above Ichiro’s .323 mark. (Of course, Ichiro’s OBP is just .317, so Cust did have more than 30 points of OPS on him.)
But Cust can’t offer anything defensively, and since he’s managed only 16 homers in 574 at-bats over the last two years, he may have trouble finding work again in the majors. He needs to some legitimate pop in combination with his willingness to take a walk, because with his lack of speed and the occasional mistake on the basepaths, he’s not going to score from first base very often.
Cust’s departure clears the way for the Mariners to give Wily Mo Pena a shot in a week or two. For now, they may shift Mike Carp to the DH spot more frequently, opening up playing time in left field for Greg Halman.
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League West.
The Giants had the best record in all of baseball at the All-Star Break and the Dodgers lost the best pitcher in the world in Clayton Kershaw for a big chunk of the season. Yet, somehow, L.A. won the NL West by four games. The biggest culprit was the Giants’ suspect bullpen, which they put some real money toward fixing this winter. Is it enough? Or is a a Dodgers team with a healthy Kershaw just too talented for San Francisco to handle?
Below them is an intriguing Rockies team, though probably not a truly good Rockies team. The Dbacks have a lot of assorted talent but are nonetheless in reshuffle mode following a miserable 2016 campaign. The Padres, meanwhile, are in full-fledged rebuilding mode, but do possess some of the best minor league talent in the game.
Here are our previews of the 2017 NL West:
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League West
There’s not a lot of separation between the top three teams in this division. Indeed, it would not be a surprise for either the Astros, Rangers or Mariners to end the year on top. Part of that is because none of these contenders are perfect, with all three facing some big challenges in putting together a strong rotation.
Meanwhile, the best baseball player in the universe toils in Anaheim, where he’ll most likely have to content himself to playing spoiler. Up the coast in Oakland . . . um, green is pretty?
Our 2017 AL West Previews:
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim