Mariners recall infielder Franklin; Hart to DL

Mariners recall infielder Franklin; Hart to DL

ARLINGTON -- Infielder Nick Franklin, who had been playing in the outfield the past few days for Triple-A Tacoma, was recalled by the Mariners and in their lineup at designated hitter Tuesday night against the Rangers.

Manager Lloyd McClendon acknowledged Franklin was not a prototypical DH but would find some time there as well as shortstop, the outfield and occasionally at second base when Robinson Cano is given a day at DH.

"I haven't told him anything other than stay hot, swing the bat," McClendon said prior to Tuesday night's game. "Really, that's it. There are plenty of spots for guys that are swinging the bat good."

And that works for Franklin, who got just 16 at-bats and hit .125 in a previous one-week stint with the Mariners in mid-April.

"I just know I'm going to be here to contribute and do what I do best," Franklin said. "I'm ready to rock and roll and do anything that comes my way."

The Mariners opened a spot on the 25-man roster by placing designated hitter Corey Hart on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring.

Franklin, 23, had the top batting average in the Pacific Coast League among qualified hitters at .376, with seven home runs and 26 RBIs in 30 games. The 2009 first-round Draft pick also led the PCL with a .481 on-base percentage and was third in slugging percentage at .633.

Franklin was Seattle's starting second baseman the last four months of last season, hitting .225 with 12 home runs and 45 RBIs. But he lost that job when Seattle signed Cano, and he was then beat out by Brad Miller for the shortstop spot in Spring Training.

Miller has struggled so far this season, hitting .154. Franklin played 15 games at shortstop at Tacoma, nine at second base and three at designated hitter, with his last two starts in the outfield.

"I walked into the clubhouse one day and saw right field, and I said, 'Let's do it. Let's go,'" Franklin said. "As long as I was in the lineup, I was ready to go. My teammates were giving me good vibes, and the coaches were, too. There's nothing really wrong with what I'm doing out there. I'm looking to take it by the horns."

Franklin started one game in the outfield for the Mariners in his previous callup, but he was sent back to Tacoma as general manager Jack Zduriencik said he needed more regular playing time. The youngster said that paid off as he quickly regained his swing.

"The biggest thing is don't try to force things to happen," he said. "Just know that I've prepared myself for the game and there's no extra pressure on me. Just let things happen."

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.