SEATTLE -- If offensive production has been spotty for the Mariners, then it seems the outfield hasn't gotten the memo.
Casper Wells is the one to complicate things, as he has been red-hot since being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on June 13. With Michael Saunders batting .306 with four home runs and nine RBIs since May 28 and veteran Ichiro Suzuki firmly entrenched in right field and the leadoff spot, that will provide a slight predicament when former Gold Glove winner Franklin Gutierrez comes off the disabled list after the All-Star break.
Gutierrez was one of the team's most reliable hitters after originally coming off the disabled list, batting in the two-hole for a struggling Mariners offense. He was placed on the seven-day disabled list with a concussion on June 29.
"We'll be able to utilize [the DH] role," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "One thing that you've seen, if in time -- it may be a short period of time -- if guys are getting it done, we'll find a way to get them in there. That's what we're doing with Casper right now and when Gut comes back, we'll still find a way to get him in there."
Wells' performance at the plate has come from a much-needed stint in Tacoma. On Monday the outfielder had a bases-clearing, go-ahead double, and then broke up Tuesday's perfect game in the seventh inning on a home run. Wells has credited a gain in confidence as a large reason in his recent success, but Wedge is impressed with what he's done fundamentally.
"What you see mechanically, that's real," Wedge said. "If he's up here doing the same thing he was doing prior and having success ... you're not too sure about it. But when you see him slow it down, be in a better position, being in a stronger position to hit, that's something you can sink your teeth into."