Franklin gets call, and will be busy
Nick Franklin back in the big leagues, will help Seattle in a number of ways
Seattle Times staff reporter
ARLINGTON, Texas — Injuries forced the Mariners to make a pair of roster moves before the game Wednesday against the Rangers.
Initially, the team placed outfielder Logan Morrison on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring and recalled infielder Nick Franklin from Class AAA Tacoma. Later in the afternoon, the team announced pitcher Blake Beavan was placed on the disabled list with shoulder tendinitis and outfielder James Jones was being recalled from Tacoma as well.
Franklin, who was hitting .395 (17 for 43) with four homers and 13 RBI in 11 games with the Rainiers, was in the lineup Wednesday night as the designated hitter and batted sixth in the order. He tripled in his first at-bat and finished 1 for 4.
Franklin won’t be a full-time DH, and he won’t have a full-time position.
“Nick will play, we’ll probably move him around,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “Probably tomorrow, he’ll play second and Robbie (Robinson Cano) will DH to give Robbie a day. Maybe against a left-hander he’ll be in the outfield. Maybe shortstop, maybe third.”
McClendon wasn’t too concerned that Franklin didn’t play any outfield with the Rainiers.
“He played it in spring training,” he said. “He did fine. Nick is a former outfielder. He’s not a neophyte. It’s like riding a bike. You get back on and ride it again. What the hell, the lights are a little brighter in the big leagues. He should be even better. Nick wants to play. I’m sure he’s going to embrace it.”
McClendon also will use Jones, who was hitting .310 in Tacoma, in a variety of ways, especially in the Mariners’ next series this week in Miami.
“We are going to a National League ballpark and he can certainly play defense and steal a base,” McClendon said. “I’m not sure if there are a lot of at-bats for him. I just thought it was the right move to make going into an NL ballpark with pinch-hitting, double switches and maybe a sac bunt.”
Morrison came to McClendon before the game Tuesday and told the manager he couldn’t run. It made no sense to McClendon to have half of a player going into a series where the DH won’t be used.
Beavan characterized his shoulder problems as “dead arm.” After pitching four innings Tuesday when he could never get loose, his shoulder was stiff and sore Wednesday.
Walker shut down
General manager Jack Zduriencik confirmed that prized pitching prospect Taijuan Walker will be shut down for two weeks with an impingement in his throwing shoulder.
Walker felt tightness in his shoulder before his scheduled start Tuesday night with Tacoma. He was scratched before the start and met with team physician Dr. Edward Khalfayan on Wednesday in Seattle.
“We are taking the cautious route,” Zduriencik said. “It’s a setback. We’ll shut him down and build him back up. We felt this was the best course of action.”