NEW YORK — The reassurance that his slumping second baseman was on the verge of coming out of an unexpected and prolonged slump didn’t come from hitting coaches Tony Arnerich or Jarret DeHart.
It wasn’t from one of the Mariners analysts or scouts in the baseball operations department studying data or film of recent plate appearances.
No, the conversation came in an elevator at the team’s hotel in San Diego when Adam Frazier’s mother, Danielle, wanted to make sure that Mariners manager Scott Servais wasn’t losing faith in her son and his ability to hit the baseball.
“She said to me, ‘Don’t worry, Adam is going to hit; he’s always hit, coach. He’s going to be fine,’” Servais recalled. “I said, ‘Mrs. Frazier, I believe he will hit and he’ll be fine.’ And she was right. Sometimes you have to listen to the moms.”
On Wednesday, Frazier had a pair of hits off Yankees ace Gerrit Cole in Seattle’s 7-3 win at Yankee Stadium, continuing an impressive run that his mom predicted.
Though he was starting to have better at-bats in the games before it, it was during that series in San Diego where he started to take off. He had a big hit and scored a run in Seattle’s 6-2 win on July 5.
Over his past 24 games, Frazier has hits in 21 of them.
During that span, he’s posted a .356/.390/.402 slash line with a double, homer, 13 runs scored and five stolen bases. He raised his overall slash line from .218/.287/.290 to .250/.311/.627.
“He’s playing great,” Servais said. “This is kind of what we envisioned. And this is typically what he does. He’s in a really good stretch right now. He really struggled early in the year.”
Frazier slumped through a miserable month of June, posting a .144/.226/.156 slash line with only 13 hits in 29 games.
“I feel pretty close to normal,” Frazier said midway through the stretch. “I’ve just been in the ‘yes, yes, yes, no’ mode. I think that’s helped me a lot seeing the ball pretty good. I’ve been trying to be more aggressive and trying to overemphasize staying up the middle and staying on the ball the other way. I think that that small adjustment there has helped.”
Frazier was being somewhat passive.
“You get in the mode where you are trying to see the ball before you swing, next thing you know you are late,” he said. “It honestly got to the point where I was so mad, I was like stop worrying about where I was at with my setup and just compete. It makes it a little harder to hit 98-mph when it’s already enough. You add all those thoughts in your mind, you aren’t in a good place for success.”
Frazier called his start to the season “brutal.” It wasn’t ideal for a player going into his first year of free agency after the season.
“I knew I could hit, and I wasn’t up there swinging and missing all the time,” he said. “It’s not fun. In the past, I’ve had a couple of bad weeks here and there or even three weeks, but that was going on 2 ½ months.”
- Ty France (left wrist strain) was out of the lineup for a third straight game. Servais opted to sit him and hope that another day off plus the off day would allow him to be ready for the weekend series in Seattle.
- Julio Rodriguez (right hand contusion) showed off his range of motion in the hand, saying it was doing much better compared to past days. But he has yet to be cleared to swing a bat.
- Diego Castillo (shoulder inflammation) was playing catch out to 100 feet and seems on track to return when his 15-day limit is reached on Aug. 10.
- Ken Giles (shoulder inflammation) pitched a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts for High-A Everett on Tuesday. It was his first outing on rehab assignment. Servais said he will have multiple outings before returning.