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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

June 28, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Update on prospect Nick Franklin, who was hit in his jaw with a bat Monday night

First, here is today’s Mariner minor-league report.

Second, here is an update on rising Mariners’ prospect Nick Franklin, who suffered a scary injury on Monday night while the Class AA Jackson Generals were in Montgomery, Alabama. This story provides the basic details of Franklin getting struck with a bat in the cages before the game and taken to a local emergency room. But the information is sketchy and raises a lot more obvious questions, so I set about answering them today.

I didn’t get much news from calling team officials in Jackson, whose game tonight was rained out. But Pedro Grifol, the Mariners’ director of minor-league operations, provided some answers.

First, the good news is that Franklin, a shortstop, did not suffer any fractures, according to tests he took on Monday night. The bat struck Franklin in his jaw, and he has been placed on the disabled list. Franklin accompanied the team on the seven-hour “red-eye” bus trip from Montgomery to Jackson last night. He was to see a Mariner doctor in Jackson today, and those results aren’t available yet. He will be checked to see if he has a concussion. Meanwhile, super-utility man Luery Bonilla, who can play all nine positions, is being sent from Tacoma to Jackson to fill Franklin’s roster spot.

“He had some nausea, headaches and dizziness on the bus from Montgomery, but once he got off the bus it all subsided,” Grifol said of Franklin. “It’s being treated as a possible concussion. If it is a concussion, we’ll take the proper organizational protocol. If it isn’t, we’re looking seven days at the minimum (the length of a minor-league DL stint).”

Franklin, 20, got hit by the backswing of another player. He has been shooting up the organization since being drafted in the first round (No. 27 overall) in the 2009 draft, and had recently been called up to Jackson from Class A High Desert. In his first four games with the Generals, Franklin was 9-for-15 (.600) with a double and home run.

“He’s elevated his game, like good talents always do,” Grifol said. “You challenge them, and they elevate their game. The reports we’ve gotten from Double-A have been unbelievable. He’s hitting, hitting with power, playing great defense, and he’s brought energy to the club. He’s a leader. Everything we anticipated, it’s happened.”

And now the Mariners are hoping Franklin, after this alarming incident, will have a chance to keep making it happen very soon.

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