The End of Richie?

The Daily Roundup examines Richie Sexson's demotion in favor of Miguel Cairo, and highlights a tough Sunday in the minor leagues.

Is it over for Richie Sexson in Seattle? Sexson's play has been largely an embarrassment over the past season and a half, but being benched for the completely punchless Miguel Cairo, a guy who has bounced around the majors and was released by the Yankees last season, is perhaps the final straw. And while Richie's benching may be warranted, the problem is that the M's have replaced him with a worse player. Sexson may be bad, but Cairo is terrible. Sexson is slugging .413 with nine homers this season, while Cairo has a career .357 SLG and hasn't gone deep since 2005. Even at his worst this season, Richie is still OPS-ing .690, far better than Cairo's last three seasons of .516, .631, and .600. John McLaren's best explanation for the move is that he likes the "energy" Cairo brings to the lineup. But energy can only do so much. Eventually you have to hit the baseball and score runs.

The second-guessing of John McLaren is starting to get more and more reasonable. Kirby Arnold of the Evertt Herald wonders why Sexson remained on the bench when he was needed while J.J. Putz was given the ball in the ninth instead of leaving Brandon Morrow in the game.

The Times' Geoff Baker argues that Sexson should not have been up as the winning run in the ninth inning yesterday and that it's time to just let him go and use Cairo and Jose Vidro at first for the rest of the season.

And back to Kirby Arnold, whose M's Update for Monday has this gem from John McLaren:

McLaren says Cairo better fits his attempt to play a small-ball style of offense.

"I like to put the game in motion," McLaren said. "I like guys running, putting pressure on the defense. But I like power, too. When you've got neither one of them going, it's like watching paint dry. It looks sluggish and it looks boring.

"This is not a knock at Richie. I'm tipping my cap to Miguel all the way."

Once again, let's remind everyone that McLaren is tipping his hat to one of the worst offensive players in all of baseball. A guy who was cut loose by the Devil Rays eight years ago because he didn't do the "little things" well, like taking walks and moving runners along.

Oy.

Around the Minors

Tacoma dropped game two of a four-game set with Salt Lake, 6-4. Bryan LaHair was 3-for-4 and drove in two runs for the Rainiers. Joseph Woerman got the start and continued to struggle with his control, walking five in four innings of work, but escaped with only two earned runs allowed. Scott Shoemaker gave up four runs in the fifth inning, which put the game out of reach for the Rainiers. Jeff Clement and Prentice Redman each had two hits, and Victor Diaz and Yung Chi Chen had RBI singles. The series with the PCL-best Bees continues tonight at Cheney Stadium.

West Tenn gave up seven runs in the final three innings on Sunday and lost 9-5 to Tennessee. Rich Dorman left the game in the sixth inning with a 4-2 lead, but it all fell apart from there. Tennessee scored three runs in the eighth inning and three more in the ninth, helped by two West Tenn errors, to run away and hide from the Jaxx. Johan Limonta had a two-run triple and Kevin Reynolds hit his first home run of the year in a four-run third inning that gave West Tenn a 4-2 lead.

Gregory Halman continues to look like the best prospect down at High Desert as he put together another huge day, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and his 16th home run in an 8-5 loss to Modesto. Halman's heroics were offset, though, by rough pitching days for Anderson Garcia and Alfredo Venegas, who combined to give up seven runs in the first four innings. Garcia's struggles in his rehab assignment continued, and he has now given up 14 runs in 9 2/3 innings.

Wisconsin lost 6-4 to Peoria on Sunday for its eighth loss in 10 games. The Rattlers committed three errors that led to two unearned runs that provided for the margin of defeat. Edward Paredes gave up a season-high nine hits in 4 2/3 innings to take the loss. Edilio Colina and Maximo Mendez each had two hits for the Rattlers. Mendez is 15 for his last 38 and has raised his average to .262 during a nine-game hitting streak. Mendez' .354 OBP is the highest on the team


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