NOTE: Now that the daily schedule is somewhat back to normal, we’re going to start up Geoff Baker Live! again tomorrow. But note the time. We’ll have tomorrow’s webcast at 11 a.m. PT.
Had a chat with Jack Cust moments ago, fresh off his two-homer game yesterday. Cust told me that when his home run balls start flying out to center like that, it’s a pretty good sign he’s found his timing at the plate.
And that’s unusual for him.
“I usually don’t feel comfortable at spring training,” he said. “There’s too much stuff going on. Too much down time when we aren’t hitting. You’re standing in the field a lot. There’s too much time to tinker with stuff and when I do that, it tends to mess me up.”
Cust said he’s tried about six different bats so far this spring, trying to find the one he’s most comfortable with. He’s also a big video guy and likes to look at it about an hour or two before every game to visualize what a pitcher might throw him.
But down here, he said, there just isn’t time.
“Also, you have to remember that the pitchers here are tinkering with stuff,” he said. “They might be trying something new, or working on something. Just because you see them do something on video here doesn’t mean they’re going to use it when the regular season begins.”
Anyhow, that’s the life of a DH. Always dealing with down time, trying to find a way to stay loose and comfortable when a ton of distractions abound.
Cust told me he’s adapted a lot better to the position in recent years.
“At first, I didn’t like it,” he said. “I had better numbers at the plate on days when I was playing in the field.”
But like anything else, you either learn to adapt or your career comes to an end. Cust knows that staying in the majors requires him to be a successful DH.
“I’m pretty comfortable with it now.”
Here are today’s lineups versus the San Diego Padres in Peoria. Erik Bedard takes the mound for the Mariners.
DH Wil Venable
SS Jason Bartlett
2B Orlando Hudson
3B Jorge Cantu
1B Brad Hawpe
RF Chris Denorfia
CF Cameron Maybin
C Guillermo Quiroz
LF Aaron Cunningham
LHP Wade LeBlanc
3B Chone Figgins
LF Milton Bradley
DH Jack Cust
CF Ryan Langerhans
1B Adam Kennedy
SS Jack Wilson
2B Brendan Ryan
C Chris Gimenez
LHP Erik Bedard