4/19/2014 8:04 P.M. ET
McClendon gives hot-hitting Hart a night off
By Christina De Nicola / Special to MLB.com
MIAMI -- It didn't matter that Corey Hart came into Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon's office following Friday night's game saying he felt great.
"I said, 'Good, I want to keep you that way. You're off [Saturday],'" McClendon said. "He really wanted to play, but it just makes sense. I don't want to put the cart in front of the horse with this guy. We've just got to be careful and make sure we continue to build. He's doing fantastic."
Hart, who started as designated hitter in 10 of Seattle's first 14 games, has played the field over the past two for the first time since 2012. He missed all of last season after two microfracture knee surgeries.
Even with the club on a four-game skid, McClendon's mind had been made up as to resting Hart. With a matinee game on Sunday after Saturday's night contest, the quick turnaround would keep Hart out.
The 10-year veteran leads the Mariners with four home runs. Over his last three games, Hart is batting .500 with a double, a homer and two RBIs. He was available to pinch-hit on Saturday.
"I learned a long time ago you can't be afraid to take a guy out of the lineup and maybe lose a game," McClendon said. "Give him the rest because it may help you win six or seven down the road. You can't be that shortsighted, you've got to look at the big picture here. We talked about it before: It's a grind -- a 162-game schedule. We've got to look at the big picture when it comes to Corey Hart."
Seager showing signs of turning it around
MIAMI -- Baseball is a game of constant adjustments, a truth to which Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager can attest.
Through the first 15 games of the season, Seager has struggled at the plate, going hitless in eight of his appearances for a team-low .170 batting average.
Of late, the 26-year-old and his coaches have tinkered with the position of his hands on the bat, working on consistently getting the same move and angle.
"We're just trying to get his hands in a better position, get him in a better hitting position so he can get that feel and where he needs to be before he attacks," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said.
Seager's results during the current roadtrip indicate progress. He collected his second multi-hit game of the trip -- and season -- on Friday. After beginning the year 4-for-33 (.121), he is batting .250 (5-for-20) over his last five games.
"It's felt better the last couple of days. Last night it felt good," said Seager, who went 2-for-4 with a double and a strikeout. "Keep building off there, feel what works and doesn't work and base it off that."
Though Seager failed to collect a hit in two of the four games in Texas, his at-bats looked and felt more comfortable.
"Everybody puts such an emphasis on the hits; obviously that's the result you're going for, but you can take a good swing and get out and take a bad swing and get a hit," Seager said. "It doesn't always work that way. Anytime you put a good swing on a ball and it falls for you, it's always a big confidence-booster."
A day later, Jones reflects on big league debut
MIAMI -- Veterans John Buck and Willie Bloomquist talked National League strategy with Mariners rookie James Jones on the bench during Friday night's game at Marlins Park.
So when manager Lloyd McClendon inserted Jones into right field for Stefen Romero in the bottom half of the seventh inning, Jones was ready for his big league debut.
"I'm learning from their end to prepare myself every day. Stay in tune with the game, try to keep the rhythm of the game and pay attention to what the other team's trying to do to us," Jones said. "Definitely nervous. It was surreal. Everything looked so big. I started calming down after the first out."
Miami's Giancarlo Stanton led off the seventh inning with a single to right, and Jones gathered the ball. A flyout to left field and a double play ended the frame.
With a runner at second and two outs in the eighth, Jones came up to bat for the first time in a 4-4 ballgame. The 25-year-old chopped a ball over right-hander A.J. Ramos' head and beat second baseman Derek Dietrich's throw for an infield hit. Mike Zunino had to hold at third.
Jones became the 21st Mariners player to collect a hit in his first plate appearance, and the first since Dustin Ackley in 2011. Jones was called up on Wednesday from Triple-A Tacoma.
"I was hoping to get the RBI and get the lead right there, but I was looking for a pitch to hit," said Jones, who will likely send the ball home to his family. "Once I saw it get over the pitcher's head, I knew I had to just haul from there. I was hoping I would beat it, and luckily I did."
• Right-hander James Paxton (oblique) will be re-evaluated in a week after landing on the disabled list April 9. McClendon said the Paxton is still not throwing, but is "back home getting some treatment."
• Top prospect Taijuan Walker was scheduled to take his shoulder injection and will be reevaluated in seven days.
Christina De Nicola is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.