McClendon expects immediate impact from Jackson, Denorfia

Jul 31, 2014, 2:14 PM | Updated: Aug 1, 2014, 11:38 am


Austin Jackson will be reunited with former Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon in Seattle. (AP)

CLEVELAND – The Mariners may not have made one of the bigger splashes at the trade deadline, but general manager Jack Zduriencik did address a number of needs as the clock ticked down.

For an offense that has been struggling to score more than two runs per game for the better part of a month, any help would be regarded as good help. With the additions of Austin Jackson and Chris Denorfia, Zduriencik gives manager Lloyd McClendon stability in center field, flexibility in right and balance in the lineup.

While the lefty-heavy offense has managed to put up a good record against left-handed starters this year, McClendon believes the balance added by the two right-handed outfielders will help them in the long run.

“Absolutely, no question about it,” he said. “It’s interesting. We certainly have held our own against left-handed starters. I think we have struggled somewhat against left-handed relievers. When you plug in another professional right-handed hitter, it makes the other manager think a little bit before he makes that move that he will just bring in the lefty. Your lineup has more balance and it is harder to just bring a lefty when you face a left-right-left-right.”

McClendon, who worked with Jackson for years as Detroit’s hitting coach, said he would most likely put Jackson at the top of the order and believes he can make an immediate impact.

“He’s probably one of the top center fielders in baseball,” McClendon said. “He gets those kinds of jumps and he plays in the biggest center field in all of baseball in Detroit. Offensively, you look at his numbers and this guy is pretty accomplished. He’s good at the top of the order, he can steal bases, he knows what he is doing, he’s a veteran hitter. There were some growing pains along the way but this kid is pretty good.”

Denorfia and Jackson will most likely replace others who are going through growing pains, which should help the team score more runs. They don’t need much, and McClendon believes this is a step in the right direction.

“Your lineup becomes more professional with guys in it that are capable of driving in a big run, and down the stretch that is what we are going to need because we are going to face good pitching,” he said. “Everyone is going to have good pitching and you need right-handed professional hitters. And they are two-way players. They know how to move themselves around a baseball field and they know how to handle situations in the batters’ box. This is definitely an upgrade for us.”

Date Starting Pitcher
Saturday, September 24 @ 4:10 pm

Mariners Roof Report

Brought to you by
Mostly Sunny
High 70° | Low 53°
Mariners are on the road.
Mariners at Royals today at 4:10pm

Seattle Mariners

Mariners Royals...
The Associated Press

Royals beat Mariners 5-1, cut Seattle’s lead for last AL Wild Card spot to 3

Brady Singer silenced the Mariners in a 5-1 Royals win on Friday. With the loss, Seattle's lead for the final AL Wild Card spot is 3 games.
1 day ago
Mariners Julio Rodriguez...
Brandon Gustafson

Mariners place Julio Rodríguez on 10-day IL, recall Taylor Trammell

The Mariners will be without star OF Julio Rodríguez for at least the next 10 days as he was placed on the injured list with a back injury.
1 day ago
Mariners Carlos Santana Jesse Winker...
Brent Stecker

3 Things: Mariners GM Dipoto’s insight on Winker, Kelenic, Santana

Jerry Dipoto talked about Mariners LF Jesse Winker's struggles, the return of Jarred Kelenic, and the impact of Carlos Santana.
1 day ago
Shannon Drayer

Drayer: Mariners again overcome adversity, must continue due to more challenges

The Mariners again overcame adversity on Thursday, winning as losses and injuries piled up. Shannon Drayer details the team going forward.
1 day ago
Mariners Jarred Kelenic Scott Servais... Staff

Catch Mariners on 770 AM Sunday as they wrap up final road trip

Mariners Radio Network coverage of their M's road finale Sunday against the Royals will be on 770 AM in the Seattle area. Full details here.
2 days ago
The Associated Press

Kelenic helps Mariners beat A’s 9-5 after Julio exits early

Jarred Kelenic homered and doubled in his first game back with the Mariners, who overcame the loss of Julio Rodríguez to beat Oakland 9-5.
2 days ago
McClendon expects immediate impact from Jackson, Denorfia