As widely expected, DH and right fielder Corey Hart has been placed on the 15-day Disabled List, with shortstop/second baseman/outfielder(?) Nick Franklin being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma to fill his shoes on the 25-man roster.
Here is what Ryan Divish, writer for the Seattle Times, notes regarding Hart’s hamstring:
Hart was diagnosed with a grade 2 hamstring strain by the Mariners’ medical staff.
— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) May 20, 2014
I’m no doctor, but I would venture to say that grade 2 is probably worse than grade 1. Or worse than grade 3 if the severity is ordered backwards.
Anyway, enough of my medical expertise. What does this mean for Franklin and the Mariners?
In Nick’s limited time in Seattle this season he went 2-18, not good but also far too small a sample size to be indicative of anything. But down in Tacoma Nick Franklin has been on a tear, hitting .376/.481/.633. Now that is more than likely not going to be sustained at the Major League level, but his 7 home runs and 26 RBI in 30 games isn’t anything to scoff at. Moreover, he has 23 walks to– how tidy– 23 strikeouts down in Tacoma.
With Hart out the DH slot is open for Franklin to take on an every day basis. This also opens up opportunities to give Robinson Cano days off in the field and slotting Franklin at second base. Moreover, with Franklin around it could spell the end of Brad Miller in Seattle for the foreseeable future.
When Hart or Logan Morrison– who is also out with a hamstring injury– get healthy, they will be put back on the 25-man roster. So who will go? James Jones has been tearing it up, Michael Saunders is a hot hitter at the top of the lineup, Dustin Ackley is starting to find his groove, and our bench guys need to be kept around.
So it will eventually come down to Franklin, Stefen Romero (who has been playing well of late), and the struggling Miller. Even though Franklin’s defense at short isn’t anything to write home about, his bat could easily replace Miller’s current productivity. And with consistent at-bats in Tacoma, maybe Miller will be able to find his swing again.
Welcome back to The Show, Nick! We hope you stick around and flash some of that power in the Mariners lineup. We could seriously use that extra pop.