Outfielder Endy Chavez has 28 career home runs dating back to 2001. He has a career slugging percentage of .364. The Seattle Mariners do not have anyone on their roster with over 10 home runs on the season. They are tied for the sixth least home runs as a team in all of MLB and the fifth least amount of total bases as a club. Something is amiss if manager Lloyd McClendon thinks Chavez brings more to the lineup as a platoon player than some of the prospects excelling in Seattle’s farm system.
The Mariners should be giving their young prospects with power potential major league at bats in order to develop them and progress their games. Individuals like Nick Franklin, Chris Taylor or even Jesus Montero immediately come to mind.
How is a player like Franklin ever going to get accustomed to major league pitching if he is in a constant vicious circle of being optioned back and forth between Seattle and Tacoma? The same can be said for Montero, who justifiably deserves his shot in the near future.
He has eight HRs in 221 Triple-A at bats, and the Mariners invested a lot in him when they traded former top pitching prospect Michael Pineda away in 2012. The 24-year-old Montero certainly has his pitfalls, but still possesses more upside as a catcher or designated hitter on the Mariners’ roster than the 36-year-old veteran journeyman Chavez does.
Chavez used to be somewhat of a stolen base threat in his more youthful years, but he is not even contributing in that stat category right now for the Mariners. The current starting outfield is Dustin Ackley in left, James Jones in center and Michael Saunders in right. Available of the bench or in situational splits to roam the outfield are Cole Gillespie and Stefen Romero.
Chavez will likely be optioned for reassignment to Triple-A once DH/1B Logan Morrison, DH Corey Hart or SP Tijuan Walker are ready to come off the disabled list. However, McClendon would have been wise to give his young prospects valuable major league at bats for a stretch, instead of promoting a marginal player in the twilight of his career.