Mariners notebook: 3 games, 3 designated hitters
By Shannon Drayer
Another day, another lineup. It had appeared that the Mariners were close to settling in with a set lineup but then Corey Hart went down with the hamstring injury. Since then we have seen Nick Franklin and Robinson Cano at designated hitter. Stefen Romero gets his turn tonight.
“We have got to fill the DH spot some kind of way,” manager Lloyd McClendon said before the game. “Corey is out, we are mixing and matching, hopefully we will strike gold. We will see.”
DHing isn’t quite as simple as going up to the plate and swinging the bat three or four times a game. Hitting is about routine and not playing the field breaks that routine. It is not the easiest position for a young hitter to be in.
“DHing is a very difficult thing to do and ideally you don’t want to have young guys do it, but we are where we are right now so we really don’t have much of a choice,” McClendon said.
For now it is mix and match. Kendrys Morales is an option, perhaps an option that the club has taken another look at. We simply don’t know at this point. We know that the club likes him as a hitter. We know they made attempts, good attempts to sign him during the offseason, and I know that there has been contact between the two sides as recent as spring training. The Mariners have seemed to be the more interested party throughout this situation. There is only so much they can do regardless of need and yes, that need is there.
James Jones, 8
Michael Saunders, 9
Robinson Cano, 4
Kyle Seager, 5
Justin Smoak, 3
Dustin Ackley, 7
Stefen Romero, DH
Nick Franklin, 6
Mike Zunino, 2
• Hart has begun treatment for the hamstring strain that should keep him out for four to six weeks. He received a PRP injection Monday so he will need to wait a week or two before he is allowed to begin any kind of activity. Being shut down is tough but nothing new for him.
“It’s tough,” he said. “I mean, I’m just trying to find anything happy about it and try to be positive and I’m pretty used to rehab so I know what to do to get back so, not that its a fun thing, but you try to stay positive and motivate these guys as much as you can and just be ready when it’s there.”
• James Paxton threw a bullpen session today and should make a rehab start Sunday for Tacoma, where he will be allowed to throw around 75 pitches.
• Taijuan Walker will throw a three-inning simulated game Friday.