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Nick Franklin is making his first career start in the outfield

Apr 23, 2014, 1:05 PM EDT

Nick Franklin AP

Nick Franklin lost his starting job at second base when the Mariners signed Robinson Cano and then failed to beat out Brad Miller in a spring training shortstop competition. That led to a demotion to Triple-A, but he crushed Pacific Coast League pitching to earn a quick call-up … and now he’s starting in right field today.

It’s the first time in Franklin’s entire professional career, majors or minors, that he’s started somewhere other than shortstop or second base and he’s logged a grand total of two innings as an outfielder.

He’s getting a chance in the outfield largely because of Logan Morrison‘s hamstring injury, but if Franklin hits well it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Mariners give him an extended look. If nothing else it would be a way to showcase his bat for a potential trade to a team that still views the 23-year-old as a long-term solution in the middle infield.

  1. gothapotamus90210 - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    An MLB level middle infielder should be able to play LF without a problem.

    • hk62 - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:39 PM

      Totally not the case (and he’s starting in RF). Reading the ball of the bat in the outfield is not something ANY infielder is automatically good at – it takes lots and lots of practice and it really needs to be live at bats to get game feel. This isn’t the Friday evening beer league.

      • grumpyoleman - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:48 PM

        Agreed. Pretty hard to do in the beer league though too.

      • Francisco (FC) - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:49 PM

        Especially after all those beers.

      • jerze2387 - Apr 23, 2014 at 3:12 PM

        Well said. Hell, even between center field and the corners isn’t so easy. In little league I could read it good off the bat in center. Less good in left or right. So of course they played me at 3B which was more “hear the ping, close my eyes and put the glove up”. Which shockingly worked more often than not.

        Point being it’s not even close to such an easy transition.

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:39 PM

      Potamus:
      I realize making assumptions is something we should all try to avoid.
      But in this case…I am going to assume you simply forgot the sarcasm font.

  2. [citation needed] fka COPO - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    #6org

    Comment From Guest
    With Seagers struggles is there any chance Franklin takes over 3rd temporarily?

    Dave Cameron: That wouldn’t help anything. It’s unrealistic and won’t happen, but once the Mariners finally convince themselves that this is a bad team, they should approach Cano about a trade.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/fangraphs-chat-42314/

    • Reflex - Apr 23, 2014 at 7:54 PM

      Leave it to Cameron to say something idiotic about the Mariners.

  3. jerze2387 - Apr 23, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    Mariners: “why don’t we take an underachieving light hitting middle infielder and make then a corner outfielder! Look how well is working with ackley!”

  4. mazblast - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    Given the state of the Mariner’s outfielders, I think starting Franklin for a while is worth a try. What do they really have to lose?

    • mazblast - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:22 PM

      “Mariners’ outfielders”

      Darned fingers.

  5. 12thmanseattle - Apr 23, 2014 at 6:36 PM

    I’m not sure why but this season is rougher than most. I had so much optimism after that first series, now the fact that they are a really bad baseball team is sinking in.

  6. Reflex - Apr 23, 2014 at 7:55 PM

    Finally giving this a shot. I’ve felt he should be at third or a corner OF slot this year. His bat has a ton of upside and the M’s need hitters.

  7. mmason0071 - Apr 23, 2014 at 9:24 PM

    Yes, the Mariners need to try anything to get Franklin’s .077 BA into the lineup. What a mess of a team. The only thing worse than their hitting this year is the defense. How can Jack Z still have a job after using 6 years to put together such an incompetent roster.

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