While Trader Jack and Wak have indeed done a sensational job holding the M's roster together with Scotch tape and gum, we'd like to take this opportunity to debunk one notion that's gained some traction in the media: Namely, that players such as Jack Hanahan and Ryan Langerhans -- both of whom started in last night's demoralizing wilt-from-ahead loss to Detroit, going a combined 1-for-7 -- are solid fill-in options. Quite simply, they aren't.
Hannahan is hitting .218 and Langerhans .220. Let's not beat around the bush here: Those are fucking atrocious batting averages. They're the sort of players who should occupy spots on a major league roster if and only if a team is riddled with injuries, which, in fairness, the Mariners have been. But they should never, ever start unless said team has no other options. The Mariners, thankfully, have options. They can start Michael Saunders in left field instead of Langerhans. With Adrian Beltre nursing a sore stone, the situation at third is less clear-cut -- until you cast your eye down to Tacoma and realize that Matt Tuiasosopo is hitting like he did in spring training (i.e., tearing the cover off the ball).The M's shouldn't wait until September call-ups to promote -- and immediately start -- Tui. Hannahan can platoon at short with Josh Wilson until Jack Wilson's back, at which point Josh Wilson (who's filled in admirably for Jack) should be sent to T-Town, and Hannahan chained to the Mariner bench unless Tui busts a nut of his own. (Update: As noted in the comments here, the M's just traded a minor leaguer to Milwaukee for 3B-OF Bill Hall, which means the team won't even have to call up Tui to saddle its slackers to the pine. Although Hall's been awfully shitty of late -- .225 last year and .201 this year -- he had a few decent years before then, and the move is super low-risk, a hallmark of the Trader Jack era.)
One last thing: What's Russell Branyan doing back in the two-hole? We thought that crazy experiment was over and Gutierrez had settled in just fine there. Batting Branyan second is to Don Wakamatsu as crack is to an addict. And crack is Wak! Kick the habit, Skip.