Though the Mariners had offered shortstop Brad Miller as part of a package in an effort to acquire outfielder Matt Kemp from the Dodgers recently, Mariners officials contend the club is not actively looking to move him. One official said explicitly, “We’re not looking to trade him,” reports Bob Dutton of The News Tribune.
The Kemp deal stalled, Dutton writes, when the Dodgers insisted on receiving either Taijuan Walker or James Paxton along with Miller and others. Kemp was eventually traded to the Padres.
As for Miller, there were even some rumors that the Mariners would consider him as an outfield option if they failed to make another deal. They have made a three-year offer to free agent Melky Cabrera and could still have others, such as Michael Morse, on their radar. The Mariners were also interested in trading for Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond, which would obviously displace Miller if he did not switch locations in such a trade.
For now, Miller is likely to be the Mariners’ starting shortstop on Opening Day after batting .221/.288/.365 with 10 home runs and 36 RBI in 411 plate appearances last season. Should Miller not get the nod, Chris Taylor would.
Following his phenomenal performance on Friday, Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter found another page on which to ink his name in the history books. He hit a pair of home runs in the first and second games of the Cardinals-Cubs doubleheader on Saturday, becoming the first player to hit six homers in a single series at Wrigley Field and the 28th MLB player to ever hit a home run in six straight games.
Coming out of the All-Star break, the 32-year-old infielder extended his two-game home run streak with a solo blast off of the Cubs’ Anthony Bass during the series opener on Thursday. He followed that up with three home runs in Friday’s staggering five-run, seven-RBI performance, then teed off another solo homer against Tyler Chatwood in Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader. Even more remarkable: He didn’t start Game 2, but subbed in for Jose Martinez in the seventh and promptly hit one deep to center field in his first at-bat of the evening.
Entering Sunday’s game, Carpenter is riding a .277/.386/.593 batting line with an NL-best 30 doubles, 25 home runs and 163 OPS+. If he collects another home run during the club’s series finale, he’ll be the first with a seven-game home run streak since former outfielder Kevin Mench did it for the Rangers in 2006. Only three players — Mench (2006), Barry Bonds (2004) and Jim Thome (2002) — carried similar streaks, while the all-time record is currently held by Ken Griffey Jr., Don Mattingly and Dale Long, at eight consecutive games with a home run.