Here’s are today’s lineups for the 12:40 p.m. start:
As you can see, Nick Franklin is out, which is not surprising. He was lifted in the sixth inning when his knee started to bother him. More accurately, manager Eric Wedge said it was his quad, but related to the knee injury Franklin suffered in Cincinnati when he fouled a ball off his kneecap. Franklin aggravated it on a play up the middle last night, Wedge said.
“It just affected his quad yesterday,” Wedges said. “It’s still off his knee, but he was having trouble firing his quad yesterday. He was able to fire it today. I’m hopeful he’ll be ready tomorrow.”
The Mariners open a three-game series with the Angels tomorrow that will take them to the All-Star break. For today, Brendan Ryan starts at shortstop and Brad Miller slides over to second.
The Mariners finally announced what had been self-evident: Erasmo Ramirez will start today’s game in the slot left open when Jeremy Bonderman was designated for assignment. Ramirez was recalled from Tacoma, where he was 3-3 with a 3.09 ERA in seven starts. Reliever Carter Capps was optioned to Tacoma.
Ramirez was in line to make the Mariners’ rotation out of spring training after going 1-3 with a 3.36 ERA in 16 games (eight starts) last year. But he began the year on the disabled list with an elbow injury and didn’t pitch in a minor-league game until May 28.
“The setbacks, with the arm and whatnot, de-railed him time wise, but for the most part, when he’s been pitching, he’s done a nice job.,” Wedge said. “He’s one of the guys we were counting on this year at some point in time, whether it be early, which we thought it would be, or where we are right now.”
The key for Ramirez, Wedge said, is to spot his fastball.
“That’s what he does. He’s a command guy, not a control guy. He throws the ball on the plate where he wants to. When he does that, he has good arm speed, he has a live ball, then that puts him in position to use all his other pitches, too. When he’s good, that’s what he does.”
Capps, meanwhile, has a 6.37 ERA in 33 appearances. He made it to the major leagues last season in his first full pro season, and has just one inning at the Triple-A level. The Mariners want him to work on his delivery and release point, among other things. He also needs to develop a better approach against left-handers, who are hitting him at a .351/.431/.719 clip this season.
“Carter only has 68, 69 innings in the minor leagues (69.1, to be exact),” Wedge said. “He got here so quick. I think he’s learned quite a bit. There’s a couple things mechanically we want him to work on. It’s the right thing for him to go down right now and work on some things. It’s tough to come up here and work and try to make adjustments or changes and compete at the same time, for a young player.
“For him, go down, get himself righted, catch his breath a little bit, pitch some down there. He’s going to be a part of this thing. He’s too big, he has too much physical strength and arm speed and velocity. He’s still trying to put that slider or cutter away where he needs to, and have enough confidence in the changeup. He just needs to go do that. We just want him to get on top of the ball more and leverage the ball downhill. Carl (Willis) has him doing some thing mechanically so he can leverage the ball downhill more and be more consistent with his arm slot, but also his release point