Update 3:50 p.m.
Why is Taylor sitting? Is it a platoon? No.
“I will look at matchups and see who best fits that particular day and put them in there,” McClendon said.
What does he expect from Kendrys Morales?
“I just want him to be a stabilizer and drive in runs and have good at-bats, productive at-bats,” he said. ” I can tell you this, he won’t be overwhelmed by any situation. He’ll be a nice piece to have in our lineup.”
With Morales there to bat fourth, McClendon said he’s playing with the idea of batting Kyle Seager at No. 2 in hopes of taking advantage of extra fastballs.
McClendon is still not happy with this call on James Jones. He isn’t calling MLB offices to complain because he knows it will do little good.
“I’m just confused by all of it,” McClendon said. “I thought I knew what blocking the plate was, but I guess I don’t. He started with his foot on top of the plate and finished with it in front of it. That’s the sliding area for the runner before he had the ball. The pictures confirm that. I have no idea what they were looking at. I know you can block the plate once you have the ball, but you are not allowed to block the plate before you have the ball.”
Kendrys Morales was all smiles pregame as he answered questions through translator Fernando Alcala.
On the news of his trade?
“It caught me by surprise. But it feels good to be back here and be with the team I was with a year ago.”
Did the first six weeks feel like spring training to him?
“It definitely feels that way. I’m getting a lot of at-bats under my belt I’ve been playing better lately and swinging the bat with more authority.”
Any regrets on the way this season has worked out?
“I made that decision to be a 100 percent free agent. I don’t feel bad about the decision.”
Kendrys Morales makes his 2014 debut the with Mariners tonight. He will bat clean-up as the designated hitter. As expected, Jesus Montero was sent back to Class AAA Tacoma. He’ll continue to work on his swing changes. I’m sure he’ll be called up in September.
The Mariners have gone lefty heavy against hard throwing right-hander Kevin Gausman.
Per Fangraphs, Gausman’s average fastball has been 95.1 mph.
Here’s his splits this season, which aren’t too dramatic.
Robinson Cano is the only member of the Mariners that has faced Gausman in the big leagues. He went 2-for-3 in his only meeting. Not sure if Mike Zunino played against him in college.
Here’s the Orioles’ numbers vs. Felix Hernandez. Obviously, Nellie Cruz has the most experience against him.
Official game notes ….
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