SEATTLE — That hot-hitting kid from the Tacoma Rainiers started Monday night for the Mariners in their series opener against the Angels at Safeco Field.
Mike Carp, not Dustin Ackley.
Carp was called up from Tacoma last Tuesday, ending questions by many fans who wondered if he was ever going to get a call amid a torrid stretch of hitting — a .348 average with 19 home runs and 58 RBI with the Rainiers.
Carp said he actually remained patient as he hit the cover off the ball, even though player after player (particularly outfielders Carlos Peguero and Greg Halman) were being called up.
“I’ve been up and down before,” he said. “I knew there wasn’t a necessity for me (in Seattle) at the time. I knew that when it came my turn, I’d be there waiting.”
True, although a lot of people were beginning to think if the Mariners wouldn’t call up Carp then, his next turn in the big leagues might come in another season with another team.
He admitted having that thought in the back of his mind, too, especially when he put together a 22-game hitting streak at Tacoma. He even spoke with Rainiers manager Daren Brown and hitting coach Alozno Powell about it.
“I had a job to do in Triple-A and that’s what I was trying to do, help that team win,” he said. “Now that I’m here, I’m trying to help this team win.”
Speaking of hitting a ton at Tacoma and waiting for the call to Seattle, Carp said it was special to witness first-hand the hitting tear Dustin Ackley has been on with the Rainiers.
“He has a different kind of sound off his bat this year than last year,” Carp said. “He struggled a little bit in the beginning but he still had good at-bats. He just wasn’t getting hits. Now he’s getting three, four hits a game.”
And defensively, how ready is Ackley for the big leagues?
“I’ve been watching him progress out there,” Carp said. “Him and (shortstop Sean) Kazmar up the middle have a really good relationship. They put their work in every day and talk. It’s really helped him out a lot. He looks really good out there.
“You go from full-time outfielder to playing second base — playing Triple-A second base — all in the same year, that’s a pretty tough task. He handled it really well and he looks really good out there, especially turning two. He gets rid of the ball quick. I got to see a different angle of him (from left field) compared with when I was playing first base. Being in left field, I got to see how he moved on balls, and he got a lot of balls that you don’t see a lot of guys get to. He’s a special talent.”
Lefty Robles activated
The Mariners activated left-handed pitcher Mauricio Robles from the 60-day disabled list Monday and optioned him to Class A High Desert. To make room for him on the 40-man roster they transferred closer David Aardsma from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL.
Robles had surgery March 22 to remove loose bodies from his left elbow.
Aardsma’s DL time is retroactive to March 22, meaning he’s eligible to be activated at any time. That won’t happen anytime soon as he recovers from a sprained ulnar collateral ligament suffered during his minor league rehab outings while working his way back after offseason hip surgery.
There’s no timetable on Aardsma’s return, although he began playing catch Monday afternoon.
Catcher Adam Moore, who suffered a torn medial meniscus April 8 and had season-ending surgery, played catch Monday for the first time since the injury. He’s scheduled to begin running on July 5. … Former Mariner Jamie Moyer and his wife Karen will speak Wednesday at the Hospice Hearts Luncheon at the Everett Holiday Inn. The event, with registration at 11:30 a.m. and the luncheon at noon, will benefit the Providence Hospice & Home Care Foundation of Snohomish Count. More information is available from Connie Wittren at 425-261-4805. … Former Mariners pitcher Ian Snell, who retired in April after not making the Cardinals’ opening-day roster, signed with the Dodgers late last month and, this week, joined their Class AAA Albuquerque team. … The Mariners’ wives will hold their annual Mystery Mariners Grab Bag sale during Friday night’s game at Safeco Field. Each bag, containing a baseball autographed by a Mariners player or manager Eric Wedge, costs $50. Proceeds will benefit Mariners Care, the team’s nonprofit foundation.