Updated 11:27 a.m.
McClendon on hitting with RISP:
“It’s a matter of relaxing and understanding the pressure is on the pitcher. The most important thing you need to do is get a good pitch to hit and put a good swing on it. After that whatever happens, happens. A lot of times, particularly with young hitters, they have no plan, they expand and the put all the pressure on themselves. It should be just the opposite.”
McClendon on taking away that pressure:
“I’ve said this before. This is game of failure. The only way you gain that experience is that you go through it and you fail. It’s no fun when it happens, but you’ll be better because of it. And our guys will be better. They’ll get it. And in the end, when it’s all said and done, we’ll be better. It’s no fun right now. It’s no fun writing about it. It’s no fun for me talking about it. It is what it is and we’ll get better.”
McClendon on Franklin playing OF in Tacoma:
“Hopefully his back is healthy and we’ll see where we are. Obviously we need offense and he’s certainly and option. Jack (Zduriencik) and I have talked about it. We’ll see where we are in the next few days. But for him to be able to play a lot of different positions, I said it before it’s important. If he’s going to be here right now, he’s going to have to move around.”
Note: This move seems likely to happen in a few days. With Franklin playing outfield the last few days, it seems as though the corresponding roster move would be to DFA outfielder Cole Gillespie, not send down Miller.
McClendon on Brad Miller widening his stance:
“That’s not true. It’s funny you should say that. I had a scout call me and say, ‘you know, he’s always hit squatty, he always had his legs under him, he was never erect. Now he’s standing too straight up.’ And then another scout tells me, ‘He’s spreading out too much, he used to be taller.’ It’s a bunch of bull$%^&. The only thing that counts is to get hits.”
So you just want him to be comfortable up there?
“I want him to get hits! I don’t give a $%^& how he does it. And I’m serious when I say that. Everyone talks about where your hands are, is he standing straight up – good hitters make adjustments and they fight through it. That’s what he’s doing, he’s fighting through a slump. Some days, he’s up, some days he’s spread out, other days his hands are low, other days his hands are high. &%#^, I went through it. I did it. I know exactly what he’s going through. It’s tough. You got to battle. You got to fight. You got to fight your way through it. Hopefully he’ll come through this.
But I’m not going to analyze is he standing straight, his legs are wide, his knees are bent. I get it. And like I told all those scouts, ‘I get it. I know you care. But you know what? back the &*$# off and let us do our jobs.’ Because the worst thing that could happen to this kid is a 1,000 voices start getting in his head. Everyone means well, and I get it. They all want him to do well. If you want him to do well, you want to help him? Leave him alone.”
You still look at tapes from a year ago to see what he was doing then, is it any different than what he’s doing now?
“No. That’s the point I was making. The scout called me and said, ‘he’s always been a squatty hitter.’ Well, no he hasn’t. He’s always been a guy that stood straight up. The other guy that said, ‘he’s always been a guy that stood straight up, he’s never been a squatty hitter.’ Yeah, but he’s trying to make adjustments. That’s what you do when you struggle. You try to find your legs. And right now, standing straight up, he’s not finding his legs. I remember one game he was up one pitch, he was squatted in the next pitch and he was back up the next pitch. You are trying to find yourself. That’s what happens. And the only person that can help come out of it is him. When he’s in that box, I ain’t at the plate with him. Howard Johnson isn’t with him. He’s in the box by himself. He’s got to find it.”
About the drills with Miller the other day using a towel?
“Not so much recognizing the pitches, recognizing the strikes, getting the ball back in your zone. And I think he’s done a good job of that in his last 8 to 10 at-bats. He’s taken a couple of walks. He’s gotten a couple of hits. He’s going deeper in counts. He’s starting to come out of it. I think he will.”
With what he saw before in Miller, will it work at the MLB level?
“Is he better than what he’s shown? Absolutely. Is he as good as his minor league numbers? Probably not. But he’s somewhere in between there. And we have to get him to that point. Right now, I think it’s more mental than it is physical. And the one thing he’s going to get when this is all over – and it will be over – he’s going to be battled test. He’s going to be a big league. Because it happens to all of us, the best of us. I played with Barry Bonds and at the end of one May, he was hitting .163 and he didn’t know his ass from his elbows. But he came through it and he was MVP. You have to be battled tested. Nobody likes it. I don’t like it. Fans don’t like it. I’m an idiot for playing him. All that $%^&, I get it. In the end, we’ll see.
James Paxton and Taijuan Walker will throw sim games on Tuesday in Texas.
Logan Morrison could go out on a rehab assignment in the next few days.
McClendon is hoping to get some work for Fernando Rodney, Danny Farquhar and Charlie Furbush, but would be just as happy if Felix forced him not use them.
From earlier …
Yes, that’s the same line-up for the third straight day. It appears John Buck’s sore hand might is still bothering him a little. With an off day tomorrow, manager Lloyd McClendon can use Zunino three straight days and not worry about his health, From the notes: McClendon has has used 38 different starting batting lineups in 42 games this season (25 different defensive lineups not counting pitcher)…there have been 7 different No. 2 hitters and 9 different No. 7 hitters.
During the eight game losing streak, Felix Hernandez had a chance to stop it at six games, but was beaten by the lowly Astros at Safeco Field. The Mariners have lost four straight and Hernandez can do what No. 1 starters are supposed to do in this situation – put a stop to the losing.
Of all the Twins’ hitters, Joltin’ Joe Mauer has had the most at-bats and most success against Felix over the years. From the game notes …
The Scribd site is down for the moment so here’s a link to the Mariners’ game notes … 05.18.14 Game Notes