Franklin looms as likely recall candidate for Mariners

Staff writerMay 18, 2014 

Tacoma Rainiers infielder Nick Franklin follows the flight of a two-run homer in a game vs. the Salt Lake Bees at Tacoma's Cheney Stadium on Tuesday, April 17, 2014.

DREW PERINE — Staff photographer Buy Photo

— Infielder Nick Franklin appears poised as a likely recall candidate for the Mariners from Triple-A Tacoma, perhaps as soon as Tuesday, if his achy back cooperates.

“Hopefully, his back is healthy,” manager Lloyd McClendon said prior to Sunday’s game against the Twins. “And then we’ll see where we are. Obviously, we need offense, and he’s certainly an option…We’ll see where we are in the next few days.”

McClendon said he and general manager Jack Zduriencik have discussed recalling Franklin in hopes he could spark a struggling attack. Franklin is batting .376 with seven homers and 26 RBIs in 30 games at Tacoma.

Such a move appeared imminent last week before a sore back prompted Franklin’s removal from a game at Las Vegas. He sat out one more day before returning to the lineup.

The Mariners, at this point, view Franklin, 23, as a utilityman and not a full-time replacement for struggling shortstop. Accordingly, he played the last three games in the outfield in an effort to boost his versatility.

“For him to be able to play a lot of different positions is important,” McClendon said. Because if he’s going to be here right now, he’s going to have to move around.”

Franklin was 2-for-16 in seven games for the Mariners in a previous recall from April 16-23. He batted .225 last season as a rookie with 12 homers and 45 RBIs in 102 games.

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