It didn’t appear as if Tacoma Rainiers manager Roy Howell has had a chance to sit down with Nick Franklin yet and discuss why he struggled with the Mariners in 17 appearances.
But Howell was direct on the difference between .376-hitting (30 games) Triple-A Franklin and .128-hitting (17 games) Mariners Franklin.
“It’s called the big leagues,” Howell said. “This is the little leagues.”
I didn’t get to talk to Nick Franklin before the Rainiers’ doubleheader today against Albuquerque. I’ll try to get him afterward.
This is Franklin’s first game since his second demotion of the season from the Mariners, and he doubled his first at-bat — a 3-2 pitch lined to left field.
Franklin was 2-for-16 (.125) his first stint with the M’s (seven April games). He was 4-for-31 (.129) his second stint (10 games in May).
Howell believes inconsistent playing time played a part in the poor average – not just going from the little to the big leagues.
“It’s hard for a young player who is playing everyday and then not playing everyday,” Howell said. “It’s hard for a veteran player. But if that’s what is asked of you and if that’s what’s needed at that point in time, then you have to try to make adjustments quicker and not let it bother you.”
Rainiers starter Matt Palmer threw 48 pitches before being pulled after three innings Thursday against Albuquerque, and had a pitch limit of 55, Howell said.
Howell said he doubted the pitch count was injury related, despite Palmer starting the season on the disabled list. He sheepishly shrugged when asked today if he believed Palmer was slated to fill the Mariners spot in the starting rotation Monday in their series-finale against Tampa Bay.
“We were just told 55 pitches,” Howell said. “They have plans and it’s not our business to say, ‘What are you doing?’ ”
Palmer is 1-2 with a 2.14 earned-run average in five starts for the Rainiers this season (21 innings). He started the season on the DL with a sore shoulder before being activated May 13.
“Hey, they say 55 pitches, he gets 55 pitches,” Howell said.