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May 4, 2014 at 8:56 AM

Sunday’s pregame notes and line-ups vs. the Astros

Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 10.27.14 AM

 Updated 11:20 a.m. Bagwell time 

After getting a four-out save yesterday, Fernando Rodney won’t be available today for the Mariners. Danny Farquhar will handle the closing duties today.

McClendon didn’t want to have to use Rodney in a four-out save, but there was little choice.

“I don’t like it,” McClendon said. “I just don’t think he’s that type of guy. He’s a high-pitch guy. So to have him go more than one, it’s not ideal. But we had to do what we had to do.”

Yoervis Medina also is not available today after his adventures the past few days. McClendon was asked about Medina’s workload the last few days and if that affected his command. McClendon shrugged it off.

“No, I can’t make that excuse,” he said. “He was just horse$%& yesterday. I just tell it like it is. He was just bad. If you ask him, he’ll tell you he was bad. It wasn’t because he’s overused. Sinker ballers should be better with more work, he was just bad.”

After being lights out most of the season, Dominic Leone wasn’t very sharp. McClendon thought it was a little rust from not having regular work – a long break and then a few days. But has Leone earned his trust to pitch higher leverage situations.

“That’s a fair question,” he said. “I think he’s earned those type of situations. You’ll probably see him in those higher leverage situations.  Most of the time, we look at match-ups to see if there’s some history there. With him there’s obviously no history there, but I know what he’s got and what he’s capable of.”

McClendon talked more about his ejection yesterday.

“I think he probably took exception to me pointing out the rule to him,” he said. “After a manager goes out one time, you can’t circumvent the rules. My problem was with the whole thing was the umpire was looking right in their dugout when their manager said, go talk to him. That’s circumventing the rules. And I just pointed out that it could be construed as a trip to the mounds. It says it right in the book. I guess he took exception to me pointing that out. And if you really think about it, I could have played that game under protest. Because that’s in the rule book.”

From earlier … 

Michael Saunders remains at the top of the order. Willie Bloomquist and John Buck get one of their starts few starts during the week. Yes, the No. 2 spot in the batting order has been relatively non-existent in terms of production till yesterday. No, I don’t really care if they move Kyle Seager up to that spot. McClendon has said all along he didn’t want to have three lefties batting in a row. Plus, Seager seems to be hitter where he’s at. I think he wants to keep him there since Cano has been on base with some regularity.

I think we might see Abraham Almonte optioned to Tacoma in the next day or two. McClendon know it’s time to make the move. But there is also some reticence because the staff believes that Michael Saunders isn’t an every day center field from a defensive perspective. They prefer to have him in the corner outfield spots. UZR had him as a -9.7 center fielder last season.

But center field help his spotty.  The help from Tacoma isn’t great. McClendon loves James Jones’ talent. But he’s relatively inexperienced. He’s got all of 24 games of Class AAA baseball and parts of two big league games to fall back on. Jones isn’t a kid. He’s 25 and beyond mature. It’s a matter of whether making that leap to the big leagues will be too much for him. The organization has rushed up players to the big leagues before – some to their detriment. And this would be a rush. But he might be their best option.

Xavier Avery could fill in as a fifth outfielder and pinch runner, but he provides little offensively and he’s not on the 40-man roster.  Endy Chavez is in Tacoma playing. He’s also not on the 40-man roster either. And defensively and at age 36, he’s not a guy that can play center field on a consistent basis anymore.

It’s one of the reasons why THEY gave Almonte such a long leash – the lack of true center field help. Almonte playing well would help offset the questions of not adding center field help in the offseason.

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