Lloyd McClendon: Changes Are Coming For Seattle Mariners
By Dan Hughes
Doesn’t he looked pissed? I know I’d be if I were him. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
When your club is in the midst of an eight-game losing streak, changes must be made. Right? Well it appears that Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon agrees and we may be seeing some changes over the coming days.
One of the most notable changes will be that Erasmo Ramirez has more than likely made his last start as a Mariner, for now. That’s according to this tweet and subsequent story from Shannon Drayer:
So, the Mariners are likely to go with a four-man rotation over the next 10 days and then hopefully have Hisashi Iwakuma ready to make his 2014 debut. I’d be okay with that. But what about the lineup? More tweets from Shannon indicate change there as well.
Yep. In eight at-bats in the two-hole, Dustin Ackley was 0-for-8 with 6K’s. I’m not convinced that Brad Miller is any better, but maybe the drop in the order was the shakeup he needed.
As I mentioned last night, Justin Smoak appeared to be hitting the ball well last night. Two deep fly balls to the track, both were caught, but showed some promise. In his next at-bat, he went yard. Perhaps he is breaking out of his funk.
There are a number of other moves that need to be made. First of all, Abraham Almonte at leadoff has failed. Plain and simple. I don’t want to hear arguments about small sample size. It failed during Spring Training, it’s failed in 19 games of the regular season. It’s failed out in the field, it’s failed at the plate. FAILED!
I recommend someone with greater plate discipline to bat leadoff. You know, like a typical leadoff hitter. Don’t laugh, but what about Kyle Seager as the leadoff guy? Give it some thought.
Seager, has had struggles of his own so far this year, but averages 4.32 pitches per plate appearance. That’s 13th in the American League. Abraham Almonte is 41st on the list at 4.02, but that’s because he has struck out an American League high 31 times so far this season. He is only one strikeout behind Justin Upton and Starling Marte for the MLB lead.
Remember how we were all lobbying for Shin-Soo Choo to come bat leadoff for us this past offeseason? He is currently 6th in the AL with 4.47 P/PA and is batting .314 with 14 walks. *sigh*
Seager meanwhile has 10 walks on the season so far, 19th in the AL and tops on the team. I say give him a shot in the top spot with Almonte in the two. In fact, here is my recommended lineup for McClendon.
Try that and see what happens. At this point, isn’t trying something better than rolling out the same thing night after night and expecting a different result?
It appears though, judging by the fact that general manager Jack Zduriencik was in McClendon’s office after last night’s loss, that the team is finally ready to try something new.
I still think if Ramirez gets sent down to Tacoma, they should call up Cole Gillespie and put him in right. There is that other right-handed bat you wanted.
Finally, one last tweet from Shannon gives us even more hope that this torture may be soon over.
The cavalry is coming. This is far from over people. You gotta have faith. The ship may be sinking, but the hole is being patched and the ship is not lost. The winds of change are blowing through Seattle. And it’s about damn time.