Mariners Insider Blog

Sunday's line-ups, official game notes and comments from Eric Wedge vs. the Rangers

4-21 lineup

Another day without Franklin Gutierrez and his tight legs in the line-up. At this point, it should not be surprising when he doesn't play in back to back games.

"If we play him again today, it’s just going to be another step back," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "If you give him today, we can start going back to back days with him. For him to get better, it’s what we have to do."

There is a chance that the Mariners could place Gutierrez on the 15-day disabled list. They could do it when Michael Saunders is healthy enough to come off the DL.

"Down the road, if this keeps up it is," Wedge said. "We are trying to avoid it, but if this keeps up, I don’t think we have many other options."

Besides Gutierrez's health, or lack thereof, the other thing that Wedge discussed was the offense, or lack thereof.

"We can’t keep going like this," Wedge said.  We are going to have to figure this offense out one way or the other. We are only 19 games in or whatever it is, but still you have to be better than this. And that’s the underlying part, we should be better than this. And we are."

Wedge has always been optimistic about the team pulling out of this. But it's not quite as strong as week ago. There's some frustration.

"We’ve been in a rut for a little while," he said. "The approach is definitely different from spring training and when we started the season. We are less aggressive in the times we should be aggressive and we are too aggressive in the times we shouldn’t be - it’s how you start throwing up zeroes. It’s not a good combination."

So what should they be doing?

"When we are at our best, you get out there and hunt the fastball," he said. "You are always on the hunt and good things happen from there, because you are more disciplined, you do focus better, you have more plate coverage - all that dominoes in the right direction. We are just too in-between right now."

Michael Morse has just one hit and no homers or extra base hits since returning from his broken finger.

"I think his timing has been a little bit off," he said. "I don’t think he’s too far away. Obviously that bump in the road has affected him. I don’t think the finger is too much an issue, but the timing has been. It’s not supposed to be that easy. When you lose three or four days in baseball, it’s a long time. But he’ll get it back."

There has been quite a bit of clamoring for the Mariners send Dustin Ackley or Justin Smoak or Jesus Montero or all three of them to Triple A. That might not happen too soon.

Wedge gave Figgins a month last year before benching him, he will give the young kids longer.

Why?

"They are on the climb," Wedge said. "With Figgy, it was one last chance to go with a few other last chances he already had. The focus shouldn’t be on the young players right now. If anything the focus should be on the veterans, they are the ones that are supposed to be leading the way. It’s easy to pick on the young players. But everybody is accountable for this."

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