8/28/2013 7:38 P.M. ET
Wedge wants Mariners to play faster
By Jacob Thorpe / MLB.com
SEATTLE -- The Mariners aren't exactly feared on the basepaths, and manager Eric Wedge wants that to change. Entering Wednesday's game against Texas, Seattle ranks 28th in stolen bases with 38.
But with a core of young, athletic players and a ballpark that punishes power hitters, small ball may be in the Mariners' future.
"I want to do that, I do," Wedge said. "I want to have that be an option to where you can steal more, you can hit-and-run more, you can use the bunt game a little bit more, whether it be for a hit or a safety squeeze, regular squeeze. I think we're going to have some guys that can do some of those things if we can stay healthy."
Seattle's future lies with its talented rookies, as shortstop Brad Miller, second baseman Nick Franklin and injured catcher Mike Zunino have all shown to be capable everyday players in the Major Leagues. Franklin leads that trio with five steals. Still, the manager alluded that more roster turnover may be necessary before he has the speedy club he's hoping for.
"You look at Franklin, you look at Miller, even [Kyle] Seager to a point, but [Dustin] Ackley and [Michael] Saunders, those are good things," Wedge said. "And you've got to get rid of some of these cloggers. You don't mind having one or two, but you can't have three or four."
• It's no secret the Mariners' offense has struggled lately, scoring only 12 runs in its last six games (all losses). While players like Ackley and Miller continue to make contact, the lineup's bigger bats haven't been able to bring baserunners home.
"We need those guys in the middle to do more," Wedge said. "You know what, we need those guys in the middle to start cruising, getting some big hits for us. But we still need to do it from one through nine. I felt like we were getting pretty close to it for a while, so my goal right now is just to get things back on line here to where we can keep moving forward."
• With six more strikeouts, Felix Hernandez will record his fifth straight 200-strikeout season, which will match Randy Johnson, who did it from 1991-95, for the club record for consecutive 200-strikeout years.
Hernandez struck out only two in Wednesday's 12-4 loss to the Rangers, allowing a career-high eight earned runs on 11 hits and a walk in three-plus innings.
Jacob Thorpe is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.