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August 17, 2014 at 8:32 AM

Pregame notes and lineups: Mariners at Tigers

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Never heard of today’s Tiger starter Robbie Ray? Well, he’s a rookie left-hander that was traded to the Tigers in the offseason as part of the trade that sent Doug Fister to the Nationals.  He became the No. 4 prospect in the Tigers’ organization according to Baseball America going into the season.

The Mariners have never faced Ray in a big league game.

“We don’t know him,” McClendon said. “Any time you go into a game and you don’t have a lot of scouting information, obviously he’s got a little bit of an advantage. We are going to have to be patient early. (Austin) Jackson can tell us some things about him. There’s just not a lot of film on him. Not a lot of history.”


Michael Saunders went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts in last night’s game for the Rainiers. He’s now had 11 at-bats since coming back from  paternity leave. When might we see him again? Maybe not for or five days. As he has said before with other players, McClendon remains adamant that Saunders stays on his rehab assignment till his timing is right on his swing.

“At some point, he’ll be back,” McClendon said. “But I don’t think 11 at-bats is a mark to get him back to the big leagues. He’s been out quite a while. He needs at-bats. Most hitters think they can get three games worth of at-bats and say I’m ready to play. I don’t know that anybody can be ready in three games. I was wish there was a switch you can turn on and be that good. But it doesn’t work that way. You get yourself back in a groove and get your timing.”

McClendon wasn’t finished.

“I’ve seen too many times where guys get 10 to 12 at-bats and they come back and they are wasting at-bats here trying to find their timing,” he said. “And then I hear them telling you guys, ‘well, I’m trying to get my timing down.’ Well that’s b$%%^&. Get your timing down in the minor leagues, don’t waste games here. It’s too important. You have to win up here. We aren’t here to get timing down, we are here to win.”

The dynamic of where the Mariners are in the wild card standings changes the thinking.

“We are in a race,” McClendon said. There’s 40 games left and I’m proud to be in this position. But here are no projects this time of the year. We have to be mark on. We have to be right with everything we do. So when he gets back here, he has to contribute. There can’t be a period of ‘I need to get my timing down.’ It just doesn’t work.”

It sounds as though Saunders may play the entire 20 days of his rehab assignment. McClendon feels the four days he missed to be with his wife for the birth of their second child has forced him to start over again in the process.

“You have to reset and start over,” McClendon said.

And what will he do when Saunders is ready to return?

“I don’t know,” McClendon said. ” That’s a great question. But I just don’t know. We are eleven games over and guys are playing well. Do you upset your apple cart? I don’t know. I don’t have that answer. That’s a tough decision but a good decision because we are in it.”

Pitching stats …. 

Here’s Ray’s platoon splits …

Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 10.52.00 AM

Here’s the Tigers’ numbers vs. Chris Young …

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