OAKLAND, Calif. – Lloyd McClendon would make no predictions. He had written Logan Morrison’s name into Thursday’s lineup as the starting right fielder, but even the Mariners’ manager was a little curious how the big designated hitter/first baseman would do.
“I guess we’ll find out because he’s out there,” McClendon said.
Morrison isn’t totally unfamiliar with the outfield. He appeared in left field in 240 games over four seasons with the Marlins.
“I’m not worried about it,” he said. “I’ve played outfield for two years in the big leagues.”
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Morrison’s outfield experience was left field only. The only time he spent in right field was during spring training this year.
“It’s not that much different,” he said. “The ball just goes the other way.”
McClendon didn’t warn Morrison that he would be starting in right field, not that he needed to be.
“Playing there in spring training is all the head’s up I need,” Morrison said. “I’ve been taking fly balls out there during batting practice and early batting practice.”
So why did McClendon go with Morrison?
“I like LoMo’s bat against this guy (A’s starter Jesse Chavez), so we’ll see how it plays out,” McClendon said. “I’m trying to get as much offense as I can.”
While Morrison has never been known for his defense, McClendon was never appalled by what he saw in the field this spring.
“He was a lot better than he came advertised,” McClendon said. “He’s not going to win a Gold Glove, but he’s not as bad as the reports.”
Morrison wasn’t trying to overthink the situation. He’s going to approach it with simplicity.
“I’m just going to try and get to the ball as fast as I can and get it in as fast as I can,” he said. “If I can catch it, I will try and catch it. If I can’t, just get it in. I’m not going to try and be (Roberto) Clemente or Vlad (Guerrero) out there.”
Hart hopes for hot hitting
Corey Hart got a third straight start Thursday at designated hitter after getting two hits, including a solo homer, in Wednesday’s win at Anaheim.
“I thought his at-bats got progressively better,” McClendon said.
Hart said it is starting to come around.
“I’m still working toward it,” he said. “But I’m starting to see the ball a little sooner. It’s still day-to-day and at-bat to at-bat, but I am getting a little more confident up there. My swing is feeling a little quicker. Now it’s just putting it all together. Hopefully it won’t take a ton of more at-bats.”
Hart is also trying to figure out his routine for being a designated hitter. It was something he never did with the Brewers. In 947 big-league games, he’s been DH in three — the past three games.
“They (the Brewers) always let Prince (Fielder) do it,” he said. “They wanted to get him off the field. It’s definitely an adjustment. I don’t mind it at all. I watch video and take swings in the cage. I don’t have a hard time staying into the game.”
Ryan Divish: 206-464-2373 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter: @RyanDivish