Just got done speaking to Mariners manager John McLaren. Pretty routine stuff until the very end of his session with reporters when I asked him about Jeff Clement and how much playing time he’s going to get behind the plate. McLaren told me he’ll be playing a lot.
What does that mean, I asked him? Three games out of every five?
“That, or more,” McLaren said.
Wow. What about Kenji Johjima, pictured above, the guy who just got a three-year, $24-million extension? Well, the M’s have worked him out a bit at first base. But Johjima isn’t really in favor of the idea. Can’t stand it, actually. So, that plan is on the back burner. And so is Johjima, for the majority of the time coming up in NL cities at least. He’ll be able to DH once the M’s return home.
Oh yeah, of course, the headline of this blog post. Anyway, as a follow-up, someone asked whether the Erik Bedard-Jamie Burke battery is still intact.
“We don’t have any combinations any more, OK?” McLaren said. “Combinations are done.”
McLaren then excused himself and the gathering was over. As he was walking away, McLaren added: “We haven’t had many combinations that have worked.”
By the way, Johjima is behind the plate tonight. Clement is here, but there’s a lefty on the mound. And besides, this may be the last playing time Johjima gets for a bit.
Maybe this team really is serious about changes.
Oh and speaking of Bedard, McLaren, prior to leaving, had thrown a compliment in Felix Hernandez’s direction.
“I think he’s made great strides and I think he is a legitimate No. 1 right now,” McLaren said, adding that the designation, in his mind, has little to do with being able to win 20 games.
“My definition of a No. 1 is to stop losing streaks,” he added. “If you stop losing streaks, all of that other stuff happens for you.”
Wait, what’s that sound? Oh, never mind. Just some skids being greased.
A look, above, at Mariners pitchers taking batting practice this afternoon ahead of their upcoming NL trip.
2 Hanley Ramirez SS
27 Jeremy Hermida RF
3 Jorge Cantu 1B
17 Mike Jacobs DH
6 Dan Uggla 2B
26 Luis Gonzalez LF
18 Wes Helms 3B
20 Matt Treanor C
4 Alfredo Amezaga CF
34 Scott Olsen LHP
51 Ichiro RF
4 Jose Lopez 2B
3 Jose Vidro DH
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
28 Raul Ibanez LF
44 Richie Sexson 1B
2 Kenji Johjima C
16 Willie Bloomquist CF
5 Yuniesky Betancourt SS
34 Felix Hernandez RHP