Mariners notebook: What to do at DH with Hart out?
By Shannon Drayer
ARLINGTON, Texas – Greetings from a very windy Globe Life Park.
How windy? Well, when Taijuan Walker threw his simulated game he had to chase his cap at one point. You can see that as well as an update on Walker and James Paxton – who also threw earlier today – in my previous post.
The news of the day, of course, is that Nick Franklin has been called up and Corey Hart has been put on the 15-day disabled list with what has been diagnosed as a Grade 2 hamstring strain. He is expected to miss four to six weeks.
Without Hart the Mariners do not have a true designated hitter. Manager Lloyd McClendon will mix and match for now, but the situation is not ideal.
“We’ve got to find one,” he said. “Franklin is DH’ing tonight but I think we all agree he’s not a typical DH. We don’t have a DH.”
So that brings up the Kendrys Morales conversation, one that never dies. There are two significant changes on that front, however, one being that the Mariners now truly need a DH more so than ever before. The other: Stephen Drew, the other Scott Boras holdout, has signed with his prior club, the Red Sox. The deal is for this year at $10.17 million, which just so happens to be the pro-rated version of the $14.1 million qualifying offer the club extended to him last fall. It is basically a do-over.
I have no idea if such offer is available to the Mariners for Morales. According to reports, the Red Sox had maintained contact with Drew and met with him at least once in April. From everything I have heard this is more involvement than the Mariners have had with Morales since mid-spring training. The Drew situation sounds to me to be at least somewhat player driven and there is no telling if Morales would instruct Boras to do the same with him or if he is content to wait another two-plus weeks to no longer be tied to draft-pick compensation in hopes of getting a bigger deal.
There is also the question of how the Mariners view Morales as far as value goes. Their two-year, $20 million offer would indicate that they would see the pro-rated qualifying offer as a significant overpay. Current circumstances may or may not change that.
For now, Franklin is tonight’s DH.
James Jones, 8
Michael Saunders, 9
Robinson Cano, 4
Justin Smoak, 3
Kyle Seager, 5
Nick Franklin, DH
Dustin Ackley, 7
Mike Zunino, 2
Brad Miller, 6
The Rangers are having problems of their own. Prince Fielder is not in their lineup tonight and Leonys Martin was a late scratch with a sore back. Before the game the team optioned J.P. Arencibia to the minors and purchased the contract of Chris Gimenez. They also announced that Scott Baker will start for them Friday at Detroit.