Now Batting, For The Seattle Mariners…

 Less than a week ago, catcher Kenji Johjima and the Seattle Mariners agreed to terms on a three-year contract extension worth a reported $24 million.  The deal caused much confusion among observers, who wondered what this meant for Jeff Clement, the third overall pick in the 2005 draft, Seattle’s top-ranked prospect, and the 42nd ranked prospect on Baseball America’s Top 100 list.  Clement is a catcher who proved during the last two seasons that he can hit at the AA and AAA levels, but what good was that if management was going to throw a roadblock up before he could reach the top of the mountain?

Roadblock, schmoadblock.  The Mariners said “To hell with it” today, calling up Clement and outfielder Wladimir Balentien (the team’s fifth-ranked prospect).  Both players saw limited action at the major league level last season, making their debuts on the same day (September 4).  Balentien doubled in his first at-bat, Clement started 0-for-4 before finishing up 6-for-12 with a couple of homeruns.  The sample sizes were ridiculously tiny, but I still can’t help laughing at their respective OPS+: 237 for Clement, 531 for Balentien.

Early talk is that Clement could take over the DH position from Jose Vidro in the near future, while manager John McLaren is planning on using Balentien as his regular rightfielder.

Previous “Now Batting”: Evan Longoria (Rays); Jed Lowrie (Red Sox)
Previous “Now Pitching”: Justin Masterson (Red Sox); Luke Hochevar (Royals); Max Scherzer (Diamondbacks)

One response to this post.

  1. I couldn’t seem to work this in, but Balentien had a great game for Tacoma on Monday: three homers and five runs batted in. The last homerun was inside the park.


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