Trayvon Robinson is back in left field today, with Casper Wells playing in right. Robinson reached base twice yesterday on a single and an error and also stole a base. He’s a longshot to open next season with the team — as of right now, anyway — but who knows what could happen the next few months?
For now, because of Franklin Gutierrez being hurt, Robinson is getting a chance back in the majors he otherwise would not have had. So, he has to make the most of it. Looking at his minor league numbers, I noticed he’d cut down big-time on his strikeouts — whiffing 22.3 percent of the time this year in Class AAA compared to 29.3 percent in AAA with the Dodgers last year and 39.4 percent during his 44-game stint with the M’s.
His on-base percentage is up to .333 this year in AAA. That’s still not the .375 level it was at in the Dodgers’ AAA system last year, but is loads better than the .250 posted with the M’s.
Robinson told me he really wasn’t focused on strikeout numbers or walk rates.
“I just want to get on base and score runs,” Robinson said.
Well, cutting down on swings at bad pitches and taking a few more will certainly help him towards that goal. He agrees.
“I’m trying to be more selective, seeing pitches and not swinging at stuff outside of the zone,” he said.
Will it pay off? We’ll see. There’s still plenty of room for improvement because a .333 OBP in AAA isn’t really what the M’s need to see from a speedy outfielder who used to profile as a leadoff hitter.
With Ichiro’s departure, the team’s leadoff question is still open-ended.
I asked manager Eric Wedge about it this morning and he agreed that nothing is set as far as the leadoff job next year. Wedge said the team would like to continue to see Dustin Ackley develop in that role — a good thing, since Wedge keeps penning him into the leadoff spot daily — but it’s not yet a permanent thing.
I’ve always felt Ackley profiles best as a No 2 hitter. And if that’s the case, then the leadoff job is still wide open for the taking. Maybe Robinson will try to step up and take it. If not, somebody else.
Speaking of Ichiro, there was an interesting piece written about him in the NY Post by one of my favorite writers, Joel Sherman, who tends to cut through all the sentimental b.s. and give you the straight goods on stuff. Enjoy.
4 Alex Gordon (L) LF
2 Alcides Escobar SS
6 Lorenzo Cain RF
16 Billy Butler DH
13 Salvador Perez C
35 Eric Hosmer (L) 1B
11 Yuniesky Betancourt 3B
17 Chris Getz (L) 2B
1 Jarrod Dyson (L) CF
53 Will Smith LHP
13 Dustin Ackley (L) 2B
33 Casper Wells RF
55 Michael Saunders (L) CF
63 Jesus Montero DH
15 Kyle Seager (L) 3B
30 Miguel Olivo C
20 Mike Carp (L) 1B
12 Trayvon Robinson (S) LF
26 Brendan Ryan SS
34 Felix Hernandez RHP