05/05/10 1:14 AM ET
New additions not expected to be quick fix
Langerhans, Wilson provide depth, but not known for offense
By Jim Street / MLB.com
"We've talked about the need for more production in our lineup, but these are two guys career-wise who, on paper, are not going to be a big impact," said manager Don Wakamatsu. "It does give us the freedom to give guys a day off here and there, or to be able to make defensive replacements if we have to.
"These weren't as much offensive moves as defensive moves."
Langerhans gives the Mariners a backup center fielder for Franklin Gutierrez, who has played every game this season.
"There's times when he'll get a little bit tired, and we didn't really have that option of putting anybody out in center field," Wakamatsu said. "Langerhans gives us coverage in all three positions in a guy we're comfortable with."
Any offensive contribution would be welcome, however.
"Any time you come in and want to try to be the guy or something, baseball's such a team game, it takes away from the team aspect of it," Langerhans said. "My game is just trying to get on base, play good defense and hopefully be a guy who can come through in a pinch at times."
In 12 games with Triple-A Tacoma, Langerhans went 11-for-39 (.282) with five doubles, seven walks and 11 strikeouts. He had one Major League at-bat this season before being sent down, a pinch-hit flyout in the ninth inning of Seattle's 6-5 loss to Oakland on April 7.
Wilson fared better during his time in Tacoma, hitting .333 with 11 doubles, a triple and 15 strikeouts in 81 at-bats.
He credits the hot start to his decision to re-sign with the Mariners in December. Mutual trust with Wakamatsu and hitting coach Alan Cockrell gave Wilson time to improve his swing at his own pace, and he said he's swinging with confidence as a result.
"They knew that I could hit, and they trusted me to get things going," Wilson said. "That's a huge tribute to them. That's why I think I've enjoyed some success early in the season in Triple-A, and I think here's going to be no different. I don't know if I'll keep hitting .333 up here, but I think I'll be able to provide some offense."
Wakamatsu tweaks lineup once more
SEATTLE -- In an ongoing effort to assemble a click-on-all-cylinders offense, Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu tweaked his lineup again Tuesday night.
The skipper moved switch-hitting left fielder Milton Bradley back into the cleanup spot, dropped third baseman Jose Lopez from fourth to sixth and flip-flopped shortstop Jack Wilson and catcher Adam Moore, the eighth- and ninth-place hitters, in the series opener against the Rays.
"As I told these guys, I will continue from a manager's standpoint to try and juggle this as much as I can and switch it up," Wakamatsu said. "But that isn't the answer.
"Give me quality at-bats, and that will dictate where you hit in the order. Going back to fundamental baseball, I don't think we have been as good as we need to be, or should be."
Wakamatsu said "when you talk about power and average" that, without a doubt, Bradley is the closest hitter the Mariners have to the prototypical cleanup hitter.
"He's a guy that can do a lot in this offense, but he's not the sole answer," Wakamatsu said. "Guys around him have to have better at-bats. We, as a group, haven't been able to string anything together.
This will be Bradley's second crack at the cleanup position. He went 1-for-17 with one home run and two RBIs before being replaced by Lopez, who went 20-for-80 with one home run and 12 RBIs during his stretch there.
Niehaus pays tribute to the late Harwell
SEATTLE -- Mariners Hall of Fame announcer Dave Niehaus paid tribute to late Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell, also enshrined in Cooperstown, who died Tuesday.
"He's one of the guys that almost defines the game," Niehaus said. "Just an unbelievably beloved man in Detroit. We've lost one of the giants of the game, one of the giants of broadcasting, in Ernie Harwell. Good friend, a wonderful man, and he'll be sorely missed.
"He was a very religious guy, a very introspective guy, a guy who never had a bad word to say about anybody. I didn't know anybody who ever had a bad word to say about him. He'll be missed. He was brought up before television, and he cut his teeth on nothing but radio. There are very few of us left that did that. He'll be badly missed, sorely missed."
Cancer survivor named honorary bat girl
SEATTLE -- This Mother's Day promises to be like none other for Faye Cluckey.
The Ballard resident and lifelong baseball fan has been chosen as the Mariners' honorary bat girl for Sunday's game against the Angels at Safeco Field.
Cluckey, a cancer survivor, is one of 30 winners of the Major League Baseball and Susan G. Komen for the Cure contest to recognize inspirational fans that have been affected by breast cancer and demonstrated a commitment to the cause.
Cluckey will celebrate her 72nd birthday on Mother's Day and be honored prior to the game. Since 1986, she has helped her younger sister through treatments for bladder cancer and two bouts of breast cancer, and last spring, Cluckey was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer of her own.
The Honorary Bat Girl program was developed to raise awareness and support for the annual Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer® initiative, a joint partnership between MLB, its licensed partners and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world's largest breast cancer organization.
Each Honorary Bat Girl will have an opportunity to participate in pregame activities, be honored during an on-field ceremony and receive pink MLB merchandise and two tickets to their Club's Mother's Day celebration game.
In addition to promotional support, Major League Baseball Charities has committed $50,000 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Game-used Louisville Slugger pink bats will be auctioned off on MLB.com at a later date to raise additional funds for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Fans can purchase their own personalized pink bat at MLB.com or www.slugger.com, with $10 from the sale of each bat benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.