Mariners catcher Miguel Olivo and his .111 batting average were on the bench Tuesday against Cleveland as Seattle continued its nine-game homestand.
Jesus Montero started behind the plate, and catcher John Jaso served as designated hitter.
However, manager Eric Wedge did not attribute Olivo absence to his average, nor his .139 slugging percentage, nor his .135 on-base percentage through 10 games and 36 at-bats.
“More about getting Jaso in there and getting Montero back behind the plate again,” Wedge said. “(Olivo) has played every game except for one, so it’s a good time to get him a day off, coupled with (the Monday) off day.”
It marked only the second appearance for Jaso, a career .245 hitter who was acquired from Tampa Bay in November.
Wedge was asked how Jaso has been spending the rest of his time.
“The bullpens, for sure,” he said. “Obviously he’s involved in all the meetings. His pregame work – as with anybody who’s not playing every day – it becomes a lot more than for a starting player. But when he’s in there like he (was Tuesday), you back off of that a little bit and prepare to play. But when he’s not in there – whether it be him or (infielders Munenori) Kawasaki or (Alex) Liddi or anybody else who’s not playing ever day – you’ve got to do a little bit more.”
What does Jaso bring to the lineup?
“He’s a tough out,” Wedge said. “He’s always been a guy who gets on base. He sees some pitches, usually, but he’s not afraid to go up there and get after it too, depending on the situation.”
OPPONENT NO. 3
Tuesday brought the 12th game of the Mariners’ season but only the third opponent, after playing seven games against Oakland and four against Texas.
Wedge said playing against new teams – the Indians and White Sox this homestand; the Tigers, Blue Jays and Rays on the road trip – will help him learn about his team.
“You start playing different ballclubs and you see how you’re being attacked – whether it be collectively or individually – I think that shows you a little bit more,” he said. “It’s exciting for me to come to the ballpark right now, just to watch these guys play, see them continue to grow and be better and to understand and have a little bit better feel.”
Wedge gave this progress report on injured outfielder Franklin Gutierrez (right pectoral muscle): “He continues to stretch out his throwing. He’s swinging and hitting and doing fine there. We’re just moving the process along really. We don’t have a time as of yet when we get him out.” ... Wedge said Mike Carp (right shoulder) has done well as a designated hitter in his rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma and will get some outfield work soon. “From a hitting standpoint, he’s in a pretty good spot I think,” Wedge said. “But it’s not going to hurt to him to play a little bit more down there. But we’ve still got to get his arm further along, too.”
The teams play the second game of this three-game series at 7:05 tonight. Probable starting pitchers are left-hander Jason Vargas (1-1, 3.44 ERA) and right-hander Derek Lowe (2-0, 1.98).
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