Nick Franklin gets his third straight start at second base today, and he says he’s starting to feel more comfortable by the day. Yesterday, he not only racked up his first major-league hit, but crushed a ball to the track in center.
“I was more impressed by the ball he hit to center field than I was with the hit, quite frankly,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “But they’re all good. A young kid, we want to get him started out right.”
Franklin acknowledged he was nervous when he came up but says he’s feeling more comfortable by the day. Wedge said he’s trying to hasten that process by playing him several days in a row.
“Honestly, I’m starting to set in a little bit, and starting to feel a little more comfortable,” Franklin said. “Not just in the batter’s box, but being in the environment, the pitching. It’s just taken a little bit to get used to. A few people have told me it’s more natural, the feeling you have. It does make me feel less bad. I was kind of expecting it from the start. It’s just a beginning, and hopefully it’s not the end.”
Of the initial hit, Franklin said, “I enjoyed every minute of it, but at the same time, we lost the game, so it wasn’t the most exciting thing. I’m just looking forward to getting back out there and doing it all over again.”
He said someone joked to him yesterday that now he had 2,999 to go.
“Honestly, to me it’s just a date to remember,” he said. “A hit’s a hit. I’d rather it be helping the team than just a base hit. It was awesome to get it and everything, but there’s better things to be doing besides just getting on base.”
Yes, he did notice Felix Hernandez fake that he was going to toss the ball into the stands after it was retrieved and sent to the dugout.
“I was actually kind of expecting that,” he said. “I was kind of waiting for it. I don’t remember who it was, about two years ago, one of the guys got his first hit and he did the fake. I kind of remember it from there, so I was kind of expecting it.”
So what did Franklin do with the ball, once he got his hands on it?
“I just threw it back in the stands,” he joked.
The actual answer is that he gave it to his parents, who flew out from Florida for his debut in Seattle and are making the road trip to San Diego and Minnesota before heading home.
“They’re enjoying it a lot,” he said. “Actually, I think they’re enjoying it more than I am.”