The outfielder hopes to build on an impressive performance against his former team as the Cleveland Indians go for a seventh straight win at Safeco Field on Friday night.
The Mariners (52-82) signed Choo as an amateur free agent out of South Korea in 2000, but he went 2 for 29 in 14 games for Seattle before he was traded to Cleveland for Ben Broussard(notes) on July 26, 2006.
Choo has since developed into a standout for the last-place Indians (54-80), leading the team in several key categories - including batting average, home runs, stolen bases and outfield assists.
He helped Cleveland end a four-game losing streak in the opener of this four-game series, going 2 for 5 with a homer and five RBIs in Thursday’s 6-3 victory.
“He’s a stud,” Indians manager Manny Acta said. “He hits good pitching. He hits right, left, he has good at-bats, he plays hard every day. I basically have to pull him off the field to give him a day off.
“He’s a legit complete player. Those words five-tool player are used a lot but he’s a legit five-tool guy. He can do it all on the field.”
While Safeco Field has been a pitcher-friendly ballpark throughout its existence, the Indians have enjoyed hitting there lately, totaling 52 runs during their six-game winning streak in Seattle.
The Mariners, meanwhile, have scored three or fewer runs in each of their last 12 home games, hitting two homers in that stretch - both by former Indian Russell Branyan(notes). For the season, they’re last in the majors in runs (434), batting average (.236) and home runs (83).
Carmona’s last four defeats have come against some of the AL’s worst offenses, including two to Kansas City and one to Oakland. The right-hander walked four and gave up three runs in 6 2-3 innings of a 6-2 loss to the Royals on Sunday.
If the Mariners beat him, Carmona may match Baltimore’s Kevin Millwood(notes) and Arizona’s Joe Saunders(notes) for the major league lead in losses, although Millwood also starts Friday against Tampa Bay.
Seattle’s Luke French(notes) (3-4, 4.13) is hoping to build on more positive results. The left-hander held Minnesota to three hits in seven innings of a 2-1 victory Sunday, the third time in his last five starts that he worked at least seven innings while allowing no more than one run.
“It’s all about commanding the fastball for him, and really commanding the baseball altogether,” interim manager Daren Brown told the Mariners’ official website. “Using both sides of the plate, when he does it, he has success.”