Veteran Taking Meche’s Spot?
Posted by Jason A. Churchill on April 19, 2006
The first step has been taken. Okay, make that two steps taken toward the Seattle Mariners replacing RHP Gil Meche in the starting rotation.
The first step is Meche stinking up the taco stand the way he has through his first three starts, and while it's too early yet to take him out of the rotation and either swallow $3.7 million or use the relatively expensive 27-year-old in relief, his days in the rotation are numbered.
Every time three Tacoma Rainiers' pitchers go out and produce the closer that day comes – that's the second step.
The three minor leaguers are RHP Clint Nageotte, LHP Bobby Livingston and 17-year major-league veteran Kevin Appier. Yeah, remember him?
Appier, 38, came off the DL to toss a scoreless inning in Tacoma's game this afternoon at Sacramento. He's got a ways to go get back to where he can throw 100 pitches a night, if he ever gets there, but he's certainly got a shot to become part of the equation.
Appier's shutout 7th inning included a hit, a walk and a strikeout of former Mariners farmhand Nate Espy – looking.
It's a bit of a longshot for the former long-time Kansas City Royals right-hander, but if Meche isn't feeling the heat, let me be the first to alert him. Hey, Gil, like I told Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong earlier this week, shape up or I'll fire you.
Translation: Pitch well – consistently – or get shipped out of the rotation or out of the organization altogether. The M's can't afford to wait for your underachieving, mind-numbing performances to finally turn into something positive. Grow a pair and buck up, pal.
Notes: Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera remains on the DL with a sprained ankle but is expected back within the next few days… LHP Thomas Oldham was placed on the 7-day DL on 4/13… RHP Scott Atchison remains on the DL with a strained right tricep.
Catcher Jeff Clement was expected to take some BP on Sunday or Monday and re-evaluate the sore left elbow that has kept him out of action over the past week. He could return to the lineup by the weekend, barring any setbacks.
Like Kenji Johjima in the bigs, forget the fact that it's a small sample size, it's okay to get a little excited about center fielder Adam Jones and his big road trip.
The 20-year-old is in over his head, or so it seemed for the first 10 days of the season, but he's caught fire on the road and leads the team in home runs and RBI, though he's yet to draw a walk and has 11 strikeouts.
Progress is the name of the game and if Jones is going to progress past .295, 4 HR and 11 K's, he's going to get really good, really quickly.