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May 28, 2014 at 3:13 PM

Wednesday’s pregame notes and line-ups vs. the Angels

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Update 4:19 p.m.

Just met with manager Lloyd McClendon for about 15 minutes. He had three fans in his office as part of an auction for co-manager of the day. They did not make the line-up. But McClendon did say that his desire to get Michael Saunders a rest every so often and CJ Wilson’s numbers against him made today the best opportunity to do so.

“Exactly the reason,” McClendon said. “From a manager’s standpoint – and I was taught this a long time ago – the most important thing you can do as a manager is to know your personnel, know what makes them tick, know what makes them good and know what can hurt them. And it’s my responsibility to analyze my players to know what’s right and what’s wrong with them. And in this instance, I know it’s right to keep him rested when I can keep him rested so he can continue to climb the ladder and can continue to have good performances.”

One player who hasn’t gotten much rest is Justin Smoak. He’s played in every game this season and started every game but one (April 18 at Miami). If Smoak were to get a rest, Willie Bloomquist would handle it. Smoak is a little beat up with thumb and knee soreness, but with the lack of pop in the line-up, don’t expect him to be sitting any time soon.

“If I thought he needed it, I could give him a day every now and then,” McClendon said. “But he’s a big strong guy with big strong legs. I think he’s the type of guy, the more he plays, the better he is.”

James Jones had a tough night against Jered Weaver, but McClendon said that there will be those growing pains.

“There’s a learning curve,” McClendon said. “What you have to remember with James is that every day is a new day. And it’s truly a new day. It’s a new experience. It’s a new pitcher, someone he’s never seen before. His period of adjustment on daily basis. I think he gets passing grades in every category.”

He’s going to make some mistakes. He’s going to show that he’s a young player from time to time. But he’s also very talented. He can do some good things on the baseball field, particularly with his leg. I’ve enjoyed watching his progress. He’s going to have some ups and downs and some bumps along the way. The guy yesterday was tough on him, but I suspect if we see him next time, he might be a little better.”

On signing Nady …

“This guy is a professional. He’s gotten off to a slow start this year. He hasn’t gotten a lot of at-bats. I think it’s worth a look. He’s going to go to Arizona and try get some at-bats. We’ll get him up to to Triple A and get him up to speed and then see where we are. We’ll see what happens. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I certainly think it’s well worth it.”

On Paxton …

“We talked. He’s disappointed. He’s going to be okay. It’s our responsibility to make sure he’s going to be okay and not rush him. We are just going to back him off a little bit. It’s not like he won’t be back out there. We just want to make sure.”

McClendon said he didn’t think it would take more than 10 days to get Paxton ready again. The hope is that it will take two rehab starts.

From earlier 

Yes, Michael Saunders is not in the line-up. No I’m not surprised. In talking about Saunders’ success, manager Lloyd McClendon said that he felt one of the keys to that is giving him a day off every so often, maybe after four or five games straight. He felt like it keeps Saunders fresh. Also he mentioned that Saunders still get some sporadic stiffness in the knee he hyperextended in the series against the Royals when he plays for long stretches. Giving him a night off against CJ Wilson isn’t the worst thing in the world.

From Baseball Reference, here’s the Mariners’ numbers against Mr. Straight Edge Racer.

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Obviously, Seager doesn’t hit him well either, but not really many options for third base. John Buck at DH is interesting, but this is who the Mariners are right now.

They did officially announce that  outfielder/first baseman/DH Xavier Nady has passed a physical and signed a minor league deal. He is in Peoria and will be working out at extended spring training. My guess is that he will join Class AAA Tacoma after that and then the Mariners will go from there. This is a more of a flyer move for depth. I’m not sure that Nady will fit as the DH going forward. But who knows. Nady was hitting .135 with three homers when he was released by the Padres in April after 22 games. He spent all of 2013 in Class AAA.

And since I’m using Play Index … here’s the Angels numbers vs. Felix Hernandez.

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