Mariners Hope Peguero's Tweaks Turn Into Results





SEATTLE—Watching Carlos Peguero putting up numbers in winter ball, it's easy to get the idea that this is a guy who was born to hit.

Blessed with great power, the Mariners outfielder can put ball after ball into and over the cheap seats. That's when he's on his game.

When he's not, the 6-foot-5, 245-pound slugger can go long stretches without impact trips to the plate.

Peguero, 25, had a productive Dominican League season for Cibao, hitting .333/.425/.571 with four homers in just 63 at-bats. The Mariners will be looking to see continued progress come spring training.

"He has made some progress in the last year, but he's got some ways to go," farm director Chris Gwynn said. "He was really receptive to what he was learning in Triple-A this year, and with someone like that, you put him out there and hope that it clicks. The adjustment to winter ball has been good; now he's got to do it here."

Peguero, who signed with the Mariners at age 17 in 2005, has made brief stops in Seattle in both 2011 and 2012, but he's hit just .191/.236/.367 in 199 big league at-bats. He's hit eight homers and driven in 26 runs in 63 games, but the power numbers get lost in the average and his propensity to strike out (82 times).

It's been a much different look at Triple-A. The lefthander hit .285/.366/.562 in 76 games for Tacoma in 2012 with 21 homers and 54 RBIs. In 2011 his numbers were even better—.317/.364/.558 with 13 homers and 47 RBIs in just 57 games.

"This is a guy who can run, who is not a bad defender, who can throw a little bit and who has great power," Gwynn said. "There's a lot of talent there. Wow. And sometimes with a talent like that, it takes time."

The Mariners' minor league coaches and instructors spent 2012 working on pitch recognition. The idea was to have Peguero swing at strikes and not chase balls in the dirt. It's nothing new; every big league hitter has to do that.

"This is a special guy in that he can hit that 0-2 pitch out of the park," Gwynn said. "At times he's downright dominating."

Marinade

• The Phillies claimed lefthander Mauricio Robles, who had been designated for assignment. Robles had a 5.78 ERA at Tacoma in 2012.

• Righthander Seon Gi Kim got off to a rocky 7.36 beginning in his first two Australian Baseball League starts, but he allowed just three runs in 13 innings in his next two starts. He also threw a scoreless inning in the league all-star game.