Seager is equal opportunity home-run artist
Mariners third baseman turning on power against righties and lefties
KANSAS CITY -- Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager continues to refine his power stroke and it doesn't matter whether there's a right-hander or a left-hander on the mound.
When the lefty-swinging Seager went deep against Royals lefty Bruce Chen in Tuesday night's 4-3 loss, it reinforced the notion that Seager is a power force against all types of pitching these days. Ten of his 22 homers have come off left-handers.
"[Hitting against] lefties is one of the areas I talked about improving," Seager said. "There have been a couple of adjustments that I made this year and hopefully they'll continue to help."
Seager is now second in the Major Leagues for home runs by a left-handed batter against a lefty pitcher. Only Chris Davis of Baltimore (12) has more.
Seager has the most lefty-on-lefty homers by a Mariners slugger since Russell Branyan also hit 10 in 2009. Ken Griffey Jr. is the only Mariners' lefty batter to hit more than 10 homers off left-handed pitching. He accomplished that feat six times, the last coming in 1998 when he hit 21.
Ruffin returns to Majors after pitching lessons
KANSAS CITY -- Right-hander Chance Ruffin, who earned a September callup with the Mariners after a strong finish for Triple-A Tacoma, thinks he's a different pitcher from when he last appeared in the Major Leagues nearly two years ago.
"I'm a little bit more methodical," Ruffin said. "I'm more of a guy who knows how to pitch and not just throwing. I've learned a lot in the last couple of years."
After moving back to the bullpen with Tacoma, Ruffin had a 1.74 ERA in 13 appearances. He struck out 19 and walked only three during that span.
"Just throwing strikes was the biggest difference," Ruffin said.
Mariners manager Eric Wedge doesn't have a specific bullpen role in mind for Ruffin. Game situations and matchups will dictate when Wedge might use him.
"He has earned the right to be up here," Wedge said. "He did a tremendous job making the [bullpen] adjustment. He really helped himself a great deal this year. He has kind of calmed his delivery a little bit. He's more under control, more consistent with his delivery and arm slot."
Wedge says Franklin needs a little polishing
KANSAS CITY -- Although infielder Nick Franklin entered Wednesday night's game against the Royals hitting just .219, manager Eric Wedge remains confident that Franklin will be a big part of the Mariners' future.
Franklin started at second base and batted in the No. 9 slot in the third of a four-game set at Kauffman Stadium.
"I feel like he's an everyday player," Wedge said. "He's a switch-hitter who has some power and athleticism. But, I think he has a lot to learn. He's a young player who got here fairly quickly. He makes it a little more difficult for himself, just because he is hard on himself when he doesn't have success. He has had a lot of success in his young life.
"Learning how to handle the failure -- not necessarily accept it, but handle it -- is a big part of being a consistent big leaguer. He needs to do a better job of that, and he will. He has a great deal of ability."
Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.