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March 25, 2014 at 9:16 PM

Mariners 9, Royals 6 — the game that will be remembered for two innings of right field

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Box score … 04.25.14 Box Score

This game won’t be remembered for the nine runs that the Mariners scored off Bruce Chen, including a line-drive solo homer from Mike Zunino and a two-run homer to right-center from Stefen Romero.

It won’t be remembered as Felix Hernandez’s final tune up before the regular season where he pitched five innings, giving up three runs on five hits with no walks and six strikeouts.

It will be remembered as the game that Nick Franklin played two innings of right field.

Yes, something that some people clamored for has happened. Nick Franklin was in the outfield. Apparently, he’s been catching fly balls the past few days. He didn’t have a ball hit to him in the two innings of action. But he looked solid in warm-ups.

What does this mean? I have no idea.

“We’re tinkering with it,” manager Lloyd McClendon said.

Not sure I can, or want to, write a ton on this. I guess I understand the move. But it’s a move that should have been done much sooner. It was clear that Brad Miller was winning the shortstop job from about the fourth week on. This seems a little bit last second. But who knows.

I do think some people are overestimating Franklin’s value as an offensive player based on 2/3 of a season. That happens.

Franklin has yet to prove he’s a good defensive player at second base – though he has the potential to be. Most scouts still don’t believe he’s a shortstop. And now you are adding a third position for him to work on. This isn’t a Ben Zobrist situation because Franklin isn’t developed enough to play him in the MLB outfield right now. The Mariners also lack the positional versatility.

I don’t know what this does to his value … not sure if there’s a metric to measure player tinkering probability.

If the Mariners have a plan for Franklin, we haven’t been told what it is. I’m not sure Franklin even knows. I guess we’ll know more going forward. Until then, feel free to debate it all out.

 

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