UPDATE 6/8 @ 7:34 a.m.: Carp got the call up to the Mariners following last night's loss to the White Sox. He replaces Mike Wilson on the roster, proving that baseball, like life, just ain't fair sometimes.
Image source Mike Carp is not a fish. He's only named after one.
The Mariners have won six consecutive series, the first time they have accomplished that feat since the record-setting 2001 season. Aside from the home-run derby this past weekend against Tampa Bay, the victories have come despite an offense that's as impotent as a geriatric eunuch. Everyone from casual fans to the front office acknowledges that their standout pitching staff (and solid defense) can only carry the team for so long; sooner or later they're going to have to start hitting. And, fortunately, sooner is just a phone call to Tacoma away in the form of Mike Carp.Last night, the 26-year-old Carp drove in seven runs for the Rainiers, powering the AAA club to a 24-3 rout of the Tucson Padres. Carp smacked two homers, including a grand salami, to extend his 22-game hitting streak. In his past eight games, he is 21 for 39 with six homers, 18 RBI, and 17 runs scored. In other words, Carp single-handedly equaled the Mariners' typical offensive output for an entire week.
And yet he's still toiling away in the minors. Why?
The man Carp seemed most likely to replace, Carlos Peguero, suddenly started jacking opposite field bombs this past weekend and saved his job, at least for the short term. Meanwhile, the Mariners needed a player capable of handling center field, so the struggling (read: terrible) Michael Saunders was replaced with the immediately impressive Greg Halman. Rookie Mike Wilson, the other platooning corner outfielder, toiled in the minors for nearly a decade, and it just doesn't seem fair to send him back down after a mere 27 at-bats.
That leaves three candidates whom the M's can kick to the curb in favor of Carp: Chone Figgins, Jack Cust, and Luis Rodriguez.
Figgins is owed far too much money for the club to jettison him just yet, and Cust is getting on-base and showing just enough power to cover his enormous ass. Rodriguez, however, brings virtually nothing to the table, let alone the plate. He is batting .167 with a .269 on-base percentage and a .288 slugging percentage. The M's ought to ditch Rodriguez and have Carp platoon with Cust at DH and Peguero/Wilson in left. That stretches the infield bench a bit thin, but it's a risk Jack Z and Co. should be willing to take.
Carp has been pigeonholed as a AAAA player--a guy who dominates in the minors but not in the majors--but he's only had 91 career at-bats in the big leagues. He has clearly taken his game to another level this season, and he deserves the opportunity to prove it at the next level.