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Thursday, March 18, 2010
M's dispatch top left fielder to Tacoma

As Geoff Baker reports, the Mariners have sent down Michael Saunders, who (in my opinion) is the organization's third-best outfielder. Nevertheless,

In 88 Triple-A games, Saunders has 16 homers and a .504 slugging percentage. So whether or not he's able to increase his horizontal-ness or not, his power figures to play in the majors.

So does the rest of him. I'm disappointed that he's being sent down because I enjoy watching young players, and I suspect I'll go to my grave thinking there wasn't enough room on the 2010 Mariners for Ken Griffey, Jr. and Milton Bradley. But between Junior's senior injuries and Bradley's Bradley-ness, doesn't it seem pretty likely that there will be an opening at some point this summer for a player with Saunders' skills?

I also think that Saunders will benefit, in a roundabout way, from Shin-Soo Choo. It's a different regime, but the men running the Mariners must be familiar with Choo's story: after a good (but not great) season in Triple-A, Choo was essentially traded by the M's for a small leather pouch filled with moldy beans (with all due respect to Ben Broussard). I think the Mariners know what they have in Saunders. They're just not in any great hurry, and I suspect everything will come out OK in the end.