Logan Morrison gets a rare start in right field for the Mariners
Manager Lloyd McClendon gives first baseman some basic instructions
Seattle Times staff reporter
PHILADELPHIA — With the Mariners forced to play under National League rules for the series with the Phillies, Logan Morrison got the start in right field Monday night.
“Yeah, how about that?” manager Lloyd McClendon said with a chuckle. His advice for Morrison?
“Stand on that wall and don’t ... move,” McClendon said, laughing.
Well, that wasn’t exactly McClendon’s advice to Morrison, but something similar. With the small dimensions of Citizens Bank Park, Morrison can play a little deeper and know that any ball hit over his head likely will be off the wall or a homer.
“It’s a short porch in a small ballpark, play deep and throw the ball to the second baseman,” said McClendon, who wasn’t looking for Morrison to be Roberto Clemente, just functional.
McClendon went with Morrison’s bat over the defense of Endy Chavez. The short porch also played in that decision as well.
“It’s tough because Chavy is playing well too, but it’s a small ballpark and you want your power guys in there,” McClendon said. “It may play. We may be able to pick up a home run or two.”
Morrison was testing out a glove he borrowed from Chavez before the game. He didn’t pack his outfield glove for the trip.
“I forgot to pack it,” he said. “I didn’t think I’d need it. Yeah, I guess I should have thought ahead on this trip.”
Not sure the glove will make a huge difference. Morrison isn’t going to try to be something he’s not in the outfield.
“I’m just going to keep it simple,” he said. “Get to the balls you can get to. And the balls you can’t get to, get to them as quick as possible and throw it into the right guy. I’m not going to try to be a hero, but sometimes you forget when the ball is in the air.
Morrison has started four games in right field this season. The last start actually wasn’t much of a start: He strained his hamstring in warm-ups before the game and was pulled in the first inning April 14 in Texas. Morrison went on the disabled the next day and missed 52 games.
Felix just fine
Felix Hernandez is fine. He will make his start Friday in Boston as planned.
He has no residual issues from getting hit by a one-hopper off the bat of Ian Kinsler in Detroit on Saturday.
“Did you see him in the dugout yesterday?” McClendon said, referencing his ace’s energetic antics during games he doesn’t start.
But postgame Sunday, Hernandez was limping a little and had big ice packs on the hip.
“Oh, he’s milking the hell out of that,” McClendon said with a laugh.
Hernandez showed up Monday walking just fine and without a limp – despite wearing a questionable pair of skinny pants that would make Ichiro Suzuki proud.
“What do you guys want to talk to me about?” he said.
The hip, he was told.
“I’m fine,” he said.
When asked if he still was going to throw his bullpen session in between starts, he replied, “Bullpens? I don’t throw bullpens anymore.”
Easy on Elias
With the off day Thursday, McClendon has decided to give rookie left-hander Roenis Elias, who started Monday night, an extra day of rest and start him Monday to open the homestand. Hisashi Iwakuma will start Sunday in Boston.
“We also have to watch Elias any time we can,” McClendon said. “An extra day just makes sense. He’s going into uncharted territory.”
Elias has made 23 MLB starts and thrown 1342/3 innings with the Mariners this season and is on pace for the most in his career.
Ryan Divish: 206-464-2373 or firstname.lastname@example.org