Carp shows Mariners he can clean up

The Sports Xchange
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The Mariners seem to have settled on left fielder/first baseman Mike Carp as their cleanup hitter.

Carp has been there for only 11 games, but he's got a .356 average and two home runs during that stretch, numbers that jump out when you consider the Mariners' cleanup hitters as a whole have averaged only .200 for the season.

Carp, who spent bits of the last two seasons bouncing between Triple-A Tacoma and Seattle, didn't get much playing time during his first call-up with the club this year, but much of that was during interleague play, when the lack of a designated hitter kept his playing time to a minimum.

So did the presence of Jack Cust in the designated hitter role, but the unproductive Cust was cut loose by the team before the trade deadline.

Carp was brought up the second time with the thought that he'd be the left-fielder, but he's spent much of his time at first base with Justin Smoak out because of thumb injuries.

That should change this weekend with Smoak expected to be back in the lineup. That means manager Eric Wedge will have to pick between Carp, Trayvon Robinson and Casper Wells to fill the designated hitter and the left field slots.

Figure on Carp getting one of the two slots. Wedge likes what he's seen.

"Carp sticks his nose in there," Wedge said. "He doesn't give away at-bats. He gets lots of hard outs, and he doesn't let that effect him negatively."

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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