Kyle Seager has been moved into the cleanup spot for tonight. He had sort of a big game last night for the Mariners.
“He’s starting to do pretty good,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “He’s too good to be a .260 hitter. I think this is guy is a .280 to .290 with some power that can drive in runs.”
Justin Smoak gets moved down. He’s been scuffling a little of late. Since getting his average up to .252 on May 6, he’s steadily dropped. He has four hits in his last 31 at-bats and his average has dropped to .217
“Smoak is in a little bit of a funk right now and hopefully he’ll come out of it soon,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “I just think he needs to be a little more aggressive, attack a little earlier in the count more. When you are not feeling good, the worst thing you can do is get one swing per at-bat. It’s hard to hit that way. Sometimes you just have to let it fly. I think he’s been a little too careful right now.”
McClendon was asked about Nick Franklin and his struggles at the big league level. McClendon was pretty frank in his comments.
“I don’t have the answer,” McClendon said. “I really don’t. I wish I did have an answer for you. He was striking out at an alarming rate. This is a game of adjustments, particularly at this level, and you’ve got to make adjustments.”
Here’s Franklin’s numbers from July 9 of last season till the end of the season.
And here’s his numbers for this year …
The kid obviously has talent. You can debate how McClendon used him this season, and maybe the lack of consistent playing time. But it’s obvious he didn’t like what he was seeing at the plate.
His message to Franklin was simple: “I just told him to go down and play and if you get an opportunity to come back, when you get that opportunity, you’ve got to produce. It’s one of the messages I’m trying to send to every individual in our organization. This is not a country club. You have to have positive results here. That’s just the way it is. Some people think we are tough or we are a$%^&#s or we don’t like players, for me all that stuff goes right out the window.
There’s only two people that get a win or a loss – that’s the pitchers and the manager. I’d be a fool if I didn’t put the best people out there who I think help me win games. Like or dislike has nothing to do with it. If you can help me win, I like you. It’s just that simple. That’s just the way it is. That’s the message I sent I spring training. I will continue to send that message. I’ll love them. I’ll protect them. I’ll fight for them. But I love my family and I love my job and I want to keep it.”
When asked about players having long leashes in the past needing that message hammered home, McClendon shrugged it off.
“I don’t know what happened in the past. I really don’t care. I’m done apologizing for the past. I’m just moving forward and I want to win baseball games and I’m going to take those players along with me that will help me win those games. It’s that simple. I don’t know about the leashes or any of that stuff and I really don’t care. All I care about is now. We’ve got to win.”
Here’s my weekly hit with Mitch Levy.
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Here’s the official game notes …
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