Mariners Insider

Friday’s line-ups, pregame notes, official game notes, updated stats vs. the Texas Rangers

Post by Ryan Divish on Aug. 16, 2013 at 2:32 pm with 6 Comments »
August 16, 2013 4:19 pm

8-16 -- lineups

Big thanks to Don Ruiz for covering the Tampa series. I watched the games on my laptop and can’t say I was disappointed in not having to cover them.

Brad Miller and Nick Franklin are at the top of the line-up per usual. Yes, they both had their moments in the field in Tampa. It’s been a rough month for the two rookies in that regard. But really, it was expected. It’s something that was written about often before they were ever called up. They are rookies and had fielding issues in the minor leagues. Those aren’t going to disappear in the big leagues. They are going to be magnified and discussed and criticized. Welcome to the big leagues kids.

Mariners minor league infield instructor Chris Woodward has traveled to Texas with the team. He was in the dugout in Tampa Bay, and they’ve asked him to travel for the time being to continue to work with, tutor and be there for Miller and Franklin, who he worked with a lot during spring training.

“I don’t know if it is a comfort thing for some of these guys, but they asked me to come along, so of course I will,” Woodward said. “I will help them as much as I can.”

Said acting manager Robby Thompson: “He’s a good guy to have here. He did a great job down below. He can only help.”

When Woodward visited Miller and Franklin when they were in the minor leagues, he warned them how difficult the adjustment will be at the big league level.

“I explained to them when they were down there that up here it’s a little different,” Woodward said. “Every little thing that happens gets exposed or gets scrutinized. Watching how they are dealing with it his big and how they move forward.”

Mistakes happen. They just seem to hurt worse at the big league level.

“Everything is so magnified,” Woodward said. “There’s a lot of things that they did in Double A and Triple A that don’t necessarily get swept under the rug, but it doesn’t get as noticed, not only from the media standpoint or the manager standpoint. It’s not blown up. Up here, it’s all about winning.”

Woodward doesn’t want them to be satisfied. Yes, right now just making the routine plays would go a long ways in helping them progress. But he knows there the capability of more.

“To be a good major league shortstop and second baseman, it’s not always just about making the routine plays,” Woodward said. “You need to turn those tough double plays and make those tough plays. The good ones do it. The ones that stay at this level for a long time do it.”

There is only one way to get to that point – work.

“You work every day determines how you play on a daily basis,” Woodward said. “If you consistently prepare for those plays, they become routine. Brendan is pretty good at that. He works at it. I think it’s good for them to see how hard he works.”

Effort isn’t a problem for Miller and Franklin.

“Miller is one of the hardest workers I’ve ever been around,” Woodward said. “There are times I almost have to take a step. Nick was working his tail off in Tacoma when I saw him.” 

On the positive news front, Mike Zunino is progressing quite quickly in his recovery from a surgery to remove a broken hamate bone in his left wrist. Zunino is beginning baseball activities. He hit off the tee today and will take batting practice hopefully as soon as next week.

Zunino, who went on the DL on July 26, has vowed to return faster than Ken Griffey Jr. did when he suffered the same injury and was out just 23 days. Zunino is running out of time in beating Griffey. And the Mariners will likely be careful with him since the season is pretty much a wash.

“He’s really working hard at it,” Thompson said. “He’s champing at the bit to get back. He’s working his way to regular BP. And hopefully we can get him on a little rehab assignment.”

Here’s my weekly radio hit with Ian Furness and Jason Puckett on SportsRadio KJR.

Leave a comment Comments → 6
  1. westside_guy says:

    It’s good they’re sticking with Miller and Franklin – the team isn’t going anywhere this season so (in terms of the infield) they’re looking at what’s best for the future rather than the present.

    Unfortunately, this makes the team’s management of the outfield – prioritizing the playing time of Morse and Ibañez over Saunders and Ackley – even more inexplicable. There’s no way Ibañez will be playing for the Mariners in a few years, and it sure seems like Morse’s abilities are following the Richie Sexson path – so planning on him as a long-term player would be silly. So why not play the guys who have the best shot of being on the 2015+ rosters?

  2. They are showcasing Morse in the next week to try and trade in a waivers deal

  3. wabubba67 says:

    Hope they are not being too quick to get rid of Morse in a minor deal. It took Z a long time to find a reliable veteran bat with power…and now he has two with Morales. Granted Morse hasn’t been healthy this year, but I would hate to trade him now based on those less than ideal numbers.

    Assuming Morales is here next year and that Smoak continues his improvement, it would be difficult to also fit Morse into the lineup. Maybe in LF if Ackley continues to struggle offensively, though even in LF (the easiest defensive position) Morse would be a significant liability. Thinking that I could live with that if he is healthy and productive offensively.

  4. 1. Again, the reason they are playing Morse is to showcase him. I’m assuming he cleared waivers (we can’t get a confirm on that), but there are 20 scouts here and most of them are here to see the Mariners. The Orioles and the Rangers are looking for a DH type of player and Morse fits that bill. I really think he would actually have some success on either team where he isn’t looked at as a focal point type player.

    2. I would be shocked, stunned and surprised if Morse comes back. I don’t think the Mariners see him in their future. They are putting all their emphasis on Morales. Also, from my conversations I’ve had with Morse, he’d prefer to go back to the east coast and play for personal reasons. I do know this … he’s cost himself millions of dollars with this season. I’m guessing he probably signs a one-year deal with someone like Baltimore or Tampa or even New York next season trying to put together a big season and then get a contract.

    3. The Mariners are still trying to figure out what they have with Ackley. He’s starting to hit, which is a good thing. I think we can all see that he’s a long way from being a competent big league outfielder. Right now, they are just getting him out there every day mistakes and all. Because really, it’s his bat that is going to propel him. So Saunders is the odd man out in this scenario for the next week or so. He’ll survive.

  5. bbnate420 says:

    Thanks for your take, Divish. I was surprised at how adamant you were that Morse won’t be back. I agree if they can keep Morales. Morse could be at least a decent stop gap at DH/1st if they lose Morales though. He has a better chance of staying healthy there and his defense doesn’t kill you like it does in the OF.

    Do you see the M’s investing significant money in an OF this off-season? They have approx. 22 mil with Morse, Figgins, and Guti coming off the books.

  6. Nate, I think Morse probably will only get one-year offers. And if given his choice, he would prefer to live on the East Coast.

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