The Seattle Mariners will be without the services of outfielder Mike Carp and relief pitcher Stephen Pryor for a bit longer. I think that may also not be such a bad thing, especially if it allows Eric Wedge the opportunity to figure out the best course when Carp does get healthy again.
Both players can come off the disabled list early this week, but neither one is healthy enough to do so. Carp is still struggling with his right shoulder, which is the same one that he injured against the Oakland Athletics in Japan. He doesn't appear even close to taking the field again, but even when he does, the front office needs to send him back to Triple-A Tacoma, in my opinion.
Carp has played very poorly this season, batting just .157 in 83 at-bats. Some will blame it on his shoulder, but there is no excuse to rush him back to the field until Carp is 100-percent healthy. There are already enough outfielders on the roster with Ichiro Suzuki, Franklin Gutierrez, Michael Saunders and Casper Wells. All are performing much better than Carp was during his 2012 season.
Regarding Pryor, I think that he has a great future with the Mariners, especially when it comes to pitching late in games. He could become the prime setup guy or even the closer, so the team needs to use the "kid gloves" on bringing him back. Having a groin injury won't harm Pryor in the long-term unless he rushes back, favors a different muscle, and ends up hurting his arm as a result. Keep him out, then send him to rehab at Tacoma before even considering a spot in the Mariners' bullpen again.
Carp had a nice finish to the 2011 season, possibly becoming the most reliable player in the Mariners' offense. The problem is that the team has a glut of outfielders and when one isn't performing, it is easier to move on to the next one without too much stress. Meanwhile, Saunders and Wells have really taken off; making it even tougher for the front office to decide what comes next.
I don't envy Jack Zduriencik, because he will have to make some tough choices soon.
More From YCN:
*Ryan is a lifelong Seattle Mariners fan who never misses an opportunity to attend a game at Safeco Field. He has been attending games since 1985, and has fond memories of The Kingdome, Edgar Martinez, and the historic 1995 team. Sodo Mojo!