Mariners Insider

Mariners Q&A: Is Safeco in Cano’s head? Next callup from Tacoma and more

Post by Bob Dutton / The News Tribune on May 19, 2014 at 4:22 pm with 1 Comment »
May 19, 2014 4:27 pm

ARLINGTON, Texas — Maybe you noticed elsewhere on our website that Robinson Cano believes the Mariners will be in the postseason hunt. Why does he think so? The answer is a click away.

An open date in Texas seemed like a good time for another long-form Twitter question-and-answer session on the Mariners. A call went out, you responded.

Let’s get to it:


@sportsilike: Is Robinson Cano letting Safeco’s dimensions get to his head? Is he forcing singles and holding back on power swings for hits?

I don’t see that, and Cano certainly doesn’t. His swing looks the same to me as it did all of those years with the Yankees.

He really doesn’t appeared bothered by the lack of homers. He insists he’s a line-drive hitter who hits homers. He also remains confident the ball will start leaving the yard at some point.

And to be fair, he’s hit several drives off the wall. I don’t mean bounce and hit the wall. I mean hit the hit the wall on the fly. He could easily have four or five homers. If he did, I don’t think anyone is talking about this.

But…at some point, it becomes an issue. If he has, say, three homers at the All-Star break, then the question of diminished power becomes a lot more real.


@andytheg: After the impending Franklin callup, who is the next Tacoma Rainier (or Jackson General) to get the call to the big club?

Lefty reliever Lucas Luetge is the obvious answer; he’s been on a Tacoma/Seattle shuttle all year, getting the call when circumstances create the need for another bullpen arm.

But if mean a guy who is a good candidate to come up and stay, it’s infielder Chris Taylor. He was close to a promotion last week when he injured his finger on a slide.

The hope is Taylor will return to action before the end of the month. If he picks up where he left off, it will be hard to keep him in Tacoma.


@hollandrich: obvious:  WHY is Brad Miller not a Rainier?

See previous question and answer. In short, Miller probably would be at Tacoma on a confidence-resurrection mission if Chris Taylor had not suffered a broken finger.

Taylor’s injury bought Miller a little more time. How much time will be interesting to see. Manager Lloyd McClendon likes to say there are two choices with slumping players: play them or bench them.

Club officials don’t seem thrilled by the idea of Nick Franklin as an everyday shortstop. And one club official said veteran Willie Bloomquist looks a step slow at this point when he’s played short.

So for now, Miller appears likely to get the chance to play his way out of his slump. For now.


@hanif_mamdani: what’s the long term play with Franklin? What will happen when Morrison is ready to come back?

Pretty simple, I think. If Franklin produces at the big leagues, he stays and, perhaps, plays regularly. This lineup needs some punch. If Franklin comes anywhere close to his Triple-A production, he plays.

But remember: Franklin was just 2-for-16 with six strikeouts in seven games during an April promotion. That’s what got his sent back to Tacoma.

With Morrison, McClendon has already signaled the likelihood of an extended rehab assignment. They can last 20 days for non-pitchers. A lot can happen in 20 days.


@snyder6204: Bob.. where were the Mariners this time last year. Record?

The Mariners were 20-23 after a 6-0 loss at Cleveland on May 19


@sportsilike: Barring any further injuries, who is the odd man out in the pitching roto when Paxton and Walker return?

Brandon Maurer is most in jeopardy. After that, your guess is as good as mine. Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma are All-Stars, while rookie lefty Roenis Elias and veteran righty Chris Young have each pitched well.

Club officials everywhere like to respond to such questions by saying something like, “Let’s see where we are when so-and-so is ready to come back.”

I used to think that was a dodge. And maybe it is, a little. But injuries happen. And guys go into slumps. (Say Elias or Young gets shelled in three straight outings.)

By the time, Paxton and Walker are ready to return, assuming they have no setbacks, that decision could be obvious. Right now, though, it isn’t.


@imcdizzle: why are the mariners so bad at stealing bases?

The don’t have a lot of base-stealing threats. Do you see anybody on this roster who can steal a base when the opposition knows he’s likely to be going. I don’t.

James Jones has speed and could develop into a real threat but, like a lot of his tools, his base-stealing skill is in the development stage.


@jordan_torres27: Mariners going to sign morales now that Hart is on he shelf?

Anything is possible, but there is no indication the Mariners have changed their stance on Kendrys Morales.


@shawnhodgins21: Hear anything on Mariners and Daniel Carbonell?

Nothing beyond what’s been reported. The Mariners appear to be among a handful of clubs showing interest. But I mentioned Carbonell to one club official, and he responded by asking: “You think he’s ready to help us now?”

That could be gamesmanship, of course.

Either way, the expectation is Carbonell will sign somewhere within the next month. If talks drag beyond July 2, his bonus will be applied to next year’s international spending pools.


@ianvand18: this team feels very close to breaking out if rotation gets healthy. Thoughts? Odds on wildcard? Not many teams dominant 

That’s pretty much what Robinson Cano thinks.


Leave a comment Comments → 1
  1. AZBubba71 says:

    By the way, congratulations to the Diamondbacks for creating a spot for Tony LaRussa to fit within their organization (Chief Baseball Officer) and giving him the authority to make changes as he sees fit (the manager and GM will now answer to him). It seems incredibly wise on the part of the Diamondbacks to accommodate someone who is bright, thoughtful, educated, reasons deductively (a trained attorney), and is respected throughout the game.

    In stark contrast, when LaRussa all bet begged for at least an interview with the Mariners over the winter, he was denied that opportunity (and the Mariners were denied the opportunity to at least listen to what a respected outsider thought of the organization and the talent on the team and in the front office).

    He must be too much of an independent thinker for Howard Lincoln and whoever now owns this team.

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