With a flurry of moves happening just a few hours earlier, there was a different feel to Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon’s daily afternoon press session. The change in the air was palpable.
The moves — trade for 1B/DH Kendrys Morales, recall of DH Jesus Montero and call-up of SS Chris Taylor — immediately invigorate a Mariners offense which scored 37 runs in their last 16 games through the 3-2 loss to the Mets Wednesday. McClendon addressed each move in turn.
McClendon said that Morales will primarily play DH, with perhaps a day or two during the week at first. That spot will be platooned as of now between the tandem of Corey Hart and Logan Morrison. Hart has yet to make a start at first, but McClendon said “he has no restrictions” there.
“Professional hitter, gives us an opportunity to stretch out our lineup,” McClendon said of Morales. “I think he’s a nice fit. He’s a switch-hitter, (will) hit behind Robby. (It) gives us options with what we want to do with Seager and where we want to hit him.
“This is a big piece for us.”
Then there’s the recall of Jesus Montero who played four games for the Mariners in his previous stint this season before being optioned on June 25. Since then, Montero has hit .420 with a 1.238 OPS in 21 games.
“Anytime a guy is swinging well and you have an opportunity to bring him, you want him in the lineup, you don’t want him sitting. And hopefully it can continue up here,” McClendon said.
And then there is Taylor who will be making his major-league debut tonight.
The Mariners conclude a seven-game homestand with a four-game set with the Orioles beginning Thursday. They will be looking to pick up their first series win in the second half (lost four of last five).
Here are the lineups beginning with Seattle, Taylor :
1. James Jones (L) cf
2. Stefen Romero rf
3. Robinson Cano (L) 2b
4. Corey Hart 1b
5. Kyle Seager (L) 3b
6. Jesus Montero dh
7. Dustin Ackley (L) lf
8. Mike Zunino c
9. Chris Taylor ss
RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (8-4, 2.95 ERA, 126 ERA+)
1. Nick Markakis (L) rf
2. Delmon Young dh
3. Adam Jones cf
4. Nelson Cruz lf
5. Chris Davis (L) 1b
6. JJ Hardy ss
7. Jonathan Schoop 2b
8. Ryan Flaherty (L) 3b
9. Caleb Joseph c
LHP Wei-Yin Chen (10-3, 4.21 ERA, 93 ERA+)
— Utility infielder Willie Bloomquist was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right knee contusiong. He will get an MRI Thursday and is “really sore” according to McClendon.