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In my earlier post about the signing of Corey Hart, I mentioned that Hart’s signing could be the first step for the organization to cut bait with Justin Smoak. It seems that the Mariners have now taken another step in what looks like at least a competition for the 1B/DH platoon split. Shortly after signing Hart, the Mariners then traded young reliever Carter Capps for Miami Marlins OF/1B Logan Morrison. While Morrison, like Hart, has played the outfield neither seems fit to do so any longer, at least not on a long term basis. Both players have a history with injuries and prevention is the best move going forward with players like this. Thus, both Hart and Morrison appear to be ideal fits for the 1B/DH slot. So either the Mariners are compiling a 2014 version of last year’s 1B/DH carousel or someone is leaving in one way or another. Further complicating matters is that Morales is still unsigned after having declined the Mariners’ qualifying offer and the only rumor including his name has been right back with the Mariners.
Let’s look at what this platoon situation would look like though. Hart is almost certainly the right handed version of this platoon. He has a proven track record, higher upside, Morrison is a lefty and Smoak is terrible from the right side. The real question is whether Morrison or Smoak would deserve the plate appearances from the left side. The table below doesn’t show the splits versus right handed pitchers but gives a good idea about who these players are.
In case you were wondering, they are the same player. Both are limited defensively. Both players were once highly rated prospects and both players kind of suck. Neither is able to handle the offensive expectations at 1B which is where Hart comes in. This could be construed a couple of different ways. As mentioned above it could mean that Smoak is out the door but has not been officially dealt yet. Or this could spurn some competition between Morrison and Smoak when Spring Training comes around. Either way, expectations out of the lefty platoon split should be tempered. Neither are good players and nothing indicates that they will be anytime soon.