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May 1, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Thursday’s pregame notes, links and line-ups vs. the Yankees

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Update 4:23 p.m. Beyonce time 

It’s official enough to be listed on the probables.

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Beyond that … It looks like Chris Young would start Monday in Oakland. Elias would go Tuesday. Hernandez and Erasmo Ramirez would start the double header on Wednesday (the Mariners can add one player to their 25-man roster for the second game of the doubleheader) and Iwakuma would go Thursday against the Royals at Safeco Field.

 Update 3:57 p.m Jay-Z time

The Mariners haven’t made it official yet. But Hisashi Iwakuma will start Saturday in Houston. Brandon Maurer will be bumped back to Sunday.

Some people have asked why Felix Hernandez didn’t stay on normal rest and pitch today. It’s something manager Lloyd McClendon considered, but chose to bump everyone back a day.

“It gives him an extra day and it gives Elias an extra day,” McClendon said. “It must made sense. Felix has been taxed quite a bit. He’s pitched on regular rest for quite a while. It’s an opportunity to get him where we need him to be. His last two outings have not been sterling outings – I think you would all agree with that. This is a chance to freshen him up and get him back on the right track.”

As for the line-up, McClendon said he’s going to start trying to find different ways to put Abraham Almonte in more favorable match-ups. He didn’t go into specifics in terms of how much that would affect Almonte’s playing time.

“He just needs positive results,” McClendon said. “He’s working his tail off to try and get it straightened out and it’s just not happening right now.”

Almonte understands why he isn’t playing. And he’s trying to figure out some of his issues.

“I’m working on something that I think will really help me to see the ball longer and I hope it works,” he said. “I’ve been moving my head a little too much at the plate. I’ve been working on keeping my head still longer so I can see what I’m going to hit. I think that’s what causing most of my trouble is my head pulling off too quick. I see it early, but at the time of my swing, my head goes out a little bit.”

Almonte saw it on video the last few days, particularly when he’s swinging left-handed.

“I came early to work in the cage today to work on that,” he said. “It feels better. I hope it works out.”

It’s hard to see it on the field, but the struggles have eaten at Almonte.

“It’s tough,” he said. “They give you a chance and you want to do your best and do great every time you step on the field. And when things don’t go the way they are supposed to be, it’s a little bit tough. The last person that can stop believing is me. I have to believe and trust that I can do this.”

From earlier … 

Another different looking line-up with Michael Saunders batting lead-off for the third time this season. Stefen Romero gets the start in right field. I honestly think this might be one of the better line-ups they can put on the field.

Linkage

Here’s my rainout story on the struggles of Brad Miller. I talked to Brad before Tuesday’s game and he was pretty honest about his struggles. From the story …

“I would go up there with a plan and I just wouldn’t execute it,” he said. “And I’d be wondering, ‘Why?’ I think it was a lot of buildup and clutter in my thinking.”

It happens when a player is slumping. And for Miller, this has been one of the worst slumps of his professional career.

“I feel like I have been expanding the strike zone and getting myself out a lot,” he admitted. “Some of my at-bats haven’t been very good. It’s not that I’m not just getting hits but I’m not putting competitive at-bats together.” 

It appears he’s recognized what the issue is and what he needs to do to fix it. Now he has to carry that over into games. That part of the process isn’t simple.

It’s a small sample size this year, but you can see the difference in his O Swing % and his Z swing %

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Miller is still going to be an aggressive hitter. Last year, he saw 3.55 pitches per plate appearance. That number is down to 3.33 this season. But I don’t know that he’ll ever be over that 4.0 threshold. At least not right away.

Here’s my radio hit with Dave Mahler from yesterday.

Official game notes:

 

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