Monday, March 27, 2006

Look at me, I could be....

He lives! I return to post again!

Jeremy Reed has broken his wrist and is out at least 4 weeks, possibly more. This creates a huge hole in centerfield, because the Mariners have exactly zero other centerfielders on the roster. Solutions floated about in the last few days include:

1. Willie Bloomquist, starting centerfielder. Good Lord. How many times do we have to have the Willie Bloomquist fight?? He has his uses as a bench guy, he is a disaster as a starter. He might be able to play a passable centerfield, but he's no whiz out there and with him in the lineup you create the possibility of 2 sub-700 OPS players in the lineup with Betancourt. Add in Lopez' sub 300 OBP and you could be looking at 700 runs again. Yikes. To Hargove's credit, he has downplayed this idea.

2. Joe Borchard, starting centerfielder. I liked the Thornton trade before Reed got hurt, this makes him even more valuable. He should hit for some power, he'll take a walk and as recently as 2003 was a solid centerfielder. All the scouting reports I've seen cast some doubt on whether he can handle center in 2006, though. He's not going to be great, but he might work. Hargrove seems to want to try this for the rest of the spring at any rate.

3. Ichiro, starting centerfielder. This seems like the perfect opportunity to test the waters with Ichiro in center. He has made all the right comments this year about wanting to help the team. You can pitch it to him as a temporary move and it gives the Mariners soooo many more options if he plays center. In addition to the two guys above, you can play Morse, Lawton, probably even Everett in right (or left if Ibanez moves over). Suddenly you have all sorts of combinations you can run out there instead of just droppipng Willie Ballgame into the two-hole.

Plus, Ichiro might be great in centerfield. He's a great rightfielder and he'd be even more valuable if he can play a stud centerfield. And really, is there any real doubt that he would rock in center? I don't think so. This could end up making the M's better in the long run if they play it right.

Of course, chances are they won't.


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