BALTIMORE — The sample size is small — a total of eight games and 26 plate appearances coming into Thursday’s game — but for Taylor Trammell and the Mariners, there is optimism in his early results and his improved approach at the plate.

Trammell has a .333/.400/.667 slash line in that brief period with four doubles, a homer, five RBI, three walks and five strikeouts.

After suffering a nasty hamstring injury in Class AAA Tacoma’s third game of the season and going from rehabbing the injury for a month in Arizona straight to the big leagues, Trammell has impressed manager Scott Servais and general manager Jerry Dipoto.

“His swing path has changed and he’s made some adjustments,” Servais said. “His set up at the plate is a little bit different. He’s going into the plate (on his swing) and he’s not pulling off quite as quickly as he was early on.”

Beyond the physical, there’s a mental change.

“He’s not trying to hit the ball 120 mph every time, like a lot of young players who can get into that mode,” Servais said. “He’s staying on balls. He’s tracking breaking balls better than he ever has. We’ve certainly seen the hits come to the opposite field like they have, that’s a really good sign. The power is there. He’ll run into enough balls to hit them over the fence to the pull side. Just being a tough out is what he’s focusing on. I think he’s doing a nice job of it so far.”

Trammell hit a pair of doubles in Wednesday’s loss, including a missile to left-center field that had a 101-mph exit velocity. He also had a hard fly ball to left field.

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“I spent a lot of time this offseason and even when I was injured just honing in on and really focusing on my approach,” Trammell said. “In the past with my approach, if I thought about hitting it the other way, I felt like my bat lagged a lot behind me. I was getting underneath the ball and really clipping a lot of balls that I should be driving. Throughout the season so far, even in Triple-A as well, I’ve really felt like my path has really gotten a lot better.”

Trammell made the Mariners’ big league roster out of spring training in 2021, but struggled to adjust to MLB pitching. He struck out 41 times in his first 95 plate appearances.

“I’m just really focus on my swing path and just trying to stay as simple as possible,” he said. “The power is there. I’ve shown it. That’s not really a big worry for me right now. It’s about getting on base.”

Remembering Lou Gehrig

Major League Baseball celebrated Lou Gehrig Day on Thursday, marking the second year of what will be an annual remembrance of the Yankees first baseman. MLB selected June 2 as the date for the annual celebration because it was the day in 1925 he started at first base for New York in place of Wally Pipp. It was the second game (he pinch-hit the day before) and first start of his unbelievable streak of 2,030 consecutive games played.  

June 2 also marks the date when marks when Gehrig died from complications of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), now called Lou Gehrig’s disease. 

All MLB uniforms had special patches signifying Lou Gehrig Day while players also wore special wrist bands in honor.

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At Camden Yards, Hayden Poole, the son of former O’s reliever Jim Poole, was scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game. Jim Poole, a member of the Orioles from 1992-94, was diagnosed with ALS on June 15, 2021.

“I actually played with Jim on a USA Team and he was coming out (of) Georgia Tech,” Servais said. “I was sad to hear what he’s going through. With Lou Gehrig, I think it’s only appropriate to recognize him, and honor him. That disease affects so many people throughout our country. So anything we can do to create awareness, hopefully raise money in charitable fashions to help that cause out. I think it’s great.”

The Mariners are hosting a special ALS Awareness Night at T-Mobile Park on Saturday, June 18. Ten dollars from every ticket sold will go to the ALS Association Evergreen Chapter. 

A notable day in Mariners’ history

More than a few historic moments happened on June 2 for the Mariners over the organization’s history.

On June 2, 1987, the Mariners selected outfielder George Kenneth Griffey Jr. out of Moeller High School in Cincinnati with the first overall pick of the MLB draft. George Argyros, who was the Mariners owner at the time, wanted the team to select right-handed pitcher Mike Harkey out of Cal-State Fullerton. But then-team president Chuck Armstrong agreed with director of scouting Roger Jongewaard and general manager Dick Balderson, who preferred to draft Griffey.

It was also on June 2 in 2010 when Griffey “announced” his retirement without fanfare or notice. He called Armstrong while driving through Montana to notify him of his decision.

And on June 2, 1990, Randy Johnson tossed the first no-hitter in Mariners history. In a 2-0 win over the Tigers at the Kingdome, the Big Unit struck out eight batters, walked six and threw 138 pitches in the game.

Notes

  • Kyle Lewis still “isn’t feeling great” and experiencing symptoms from a concussion according to Servais. He’s eligible to come off the seven-day concussion on Sunday. But he must pass MLB’s concussion protocols before the Mariners can activate him from the injured list.
  • Ty France came into Thursday’s game with a 13-game hitting streak, the longest active streak in Major League Baseball. During the streak, France has a .471/.526/.686 slash line with 24 hits, including five doubles, two homers, 11 RBI, three walks, three hit by pitches and seven strikeouts in 57 plate appearances.