SEATTLE — Mark Trumbo spent a lot of time thinking about this — as you can imagine — and he believes the best approach is to try to simplify his way out of his extended slump.
“I’ve tried a number of things,” he said. “Nothing has felt terribly good. So for me, it’s just getting back to basics and setting realistic smaller goals. Maybe not being so results-oriented.
“Just kind of enjoy what’s going on because there’s been enough of the other stuff to clog things down. You need to try to get back to remembering why I do play.”
The Seattle Mariners acquired Trumbo in a June 3 trade from Arizona in an effort to add punch to their tepid attack.
It just hasn’t happened.
Trumbo entered Tuesday’s game against Detroit with a .157 average in 24 games since joining the Mariners. He also has one homer and five RBIs over 86 plate appearances in that span.
“It hasn’t been very good,” he acknowledged. “This is the longest I’ve gone struggling, and it feels like it. It’s maddening because you can nit-pick anything. Obviously, I’ve looked at a ton of things.
“Normally, I’m a guy who doesn’t watch much video. It’s just too much for me. I don’t think I’m one of those guys who doesn’t need all of those extra thoughts. I already tinker enough as it is.”
While Trumbo shies from video, he amps up time in the batting cages in an effort to thaw a bat that averaged 32 homers and 94 RBIs over his last three full seasons from 2011-13. A foot injury last year limited him to 88 games.
“I try to work myself out of it,” he said. “Whether that’s good, bad or indifferent, I just feel like it’s what you need to do. You have to do something.
“I’m not a fan of just trying to do the same thing over and over and over. You need to change something.”
So, now, he’s trying to simplify.
“Let’s say putting together a quality at-bat,” Trumbo said. “Whether you get out — whether you strike out — whatever. It could be a 3-2 count that you extended to eight or nine pitches.
“Say you do strike out but, still, there’s a takeaway there. It could be lining out. Or it could be a base-hit. It could be a home run. Any of those things. A small starting goal would be to have a quality at-bat.
“If you have one, then piece two together.”
Maybe Tuesday was a step in the right direction: he had a pair of singles in four at-bats before leaving the game for a pinch-runner. That nudged his Mariners' average up to .172.
Trumbo has another goal, an unusual one: He wants to get jammed more.
“Which is not something you probably hear a lot,” he admitted. “I’ve probably been going to get the ball more than I need to. Normally, if you look at my bat, there would be a number of foul-ball marks near the label.
“That’s just a product of not being afraid to let the ball get in on you. There are a lot of hits to be had by getting jammed. But I haven’t gotten those because I haven’t allowed the ball to get in on me.”
Is Robinson Cano finally emerging from his extended slump?
Cano now has 12 hits in his last 30 at-bats, which raised his average from .238 to .253. He is also a .318 career hitter after the All-Star — 20 points higher than his career average prior to the All-Star Game.
“It’s never too late,” he said. “Hopefully, it can continue from now on. Keep swinging the same way.”
Short-A Everett outfielder Alex Jackson and Triple-A Tacoma shortstop Ketel Marte were cited by Baseball America in its mid-season Top 50 updated rankings of the game’s top prospects.
Jackson, 19, was rated at No. 43 despite struggling earlier this year in batting .157 in 28 games at Lo-A Clinton. Reassigned to Everett after time in extended spring training, he is batting .246 in 16 games for the AquaSox.
“His first taste of the Midwest League was a disaster,” Baseball America noted, “but it’s too soon to get too worried about last year’s sixth pick.”
Marte, 21, is recovering from a broken thumb in a rehab assignment in Arizona after batting .343 in 51 games for the Rainiers. A Dominican native, the Mariners signed him as a 16-year-old in 2010.
“Marte doesn’t have much power,” the magazine observed, “but his put-the-ball-in-play approach makes him tough to strike out.”
It was 21 years ago Wednesday — July 8, 1994 — that Alex Rodriguez made his major-league debut as the Mariners’ starting shortstop in a 4-3 loss at Boston.
Barely a year after his selection as the first overall pick in the 1993 draft, Rodriguez batted ninth and went hitless in three at-bats. His age was 18 years, 11 months and 11 days.
Rodriguez batted just .204 while playing 17 games as a rookie.
The Mariners’ Bark at Park promotion, where fans bring their dogs to the ballpark, is a sellout at the capped limit of 500 dogs…Logan Morrison hit his 11th home run in Monday’s loss, which matched his 2014 total. His career high is 23 in 2011 with Florida…The Tigers designated infielder Josh Wilson for assignment to clear space for first baseman Marc Krauss, a waiver claim from Tampa Bay.
The Mariners and Tigers complete their three-game series at 12:40 p.m. Thursday at Safeco Field. Left-hander J.A. Happ (4-5, 3.93) will face Detroit right-hander Anibal Sanchez (7-7, 4.65).
The game can be seen on Root Sports Northwest and heard on 710 ESPN.