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Published: Monday, August 19, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Mariners' notes: Morse, Perez struggling

ARLINGTON, Texas -- At some point during the season, every player goes through a rough patch. Both reliever Oliver Perez and outfielder Michael Morse are in the midst of their own struggles.
Perez had an abysmal outing on Saturday, giving up six runs on five hits in 2/3 of an inning pitched. Since July 19, he's made 10 appearances, pitching 61/3 innings and giving up 13 earned runs for an 18.47 ERA. Opponents are hitting .486 against him during that time with a 1.379 on-base plus slugging percentage.
"He's just not controlling the counts very well," pitching coach Carl Willis said. "I think earlier in the year, we saw a lot more first pitch strikes, which allowed him to utilize his slider, change speeds and get the hitter guessing. Right now, he's just behind in way too many counts."
Perez's routine hasn't changed. He isn't bothered by injury. His mechanics are essentially the same.
"More than anything else, arm side, the ball just seems to be running away from him a little bit," Willis said. "From a mechanical standpoint, everything still looks the same. Whether it's a little bit of fatigue, that's possible. Hopefully, we can resolve it quickly."
As for Morse, the idea of showcasing him for a trade might not be working so well. While Baltimore and Texas are both looking for DH-type hitters, Morse's struggles have really hurt his trade value more than helped it.
Since returning from the disabled list on July 30, he's hitting .161 (9-for-56) in 14 games with 15 strikeouts and a .286 slugging percentage.
If you watch closely, pitchers are just busting fastballs in on his hands. Morse can't, or won't, lay off of those pitches, and he isn't getting his hands through fast enough to pull balls down the line and hit them hard. It's well known that his power is to center and right field when he gets his massive arms extended. Opposing pitchers are not allowing him to do that. And when he does get a pitch out and over the plate, he is missing them.
"It's selection," Thompson said. "They are pounding him in and a lot of those pitches he's getting jammed on are actually off the plate and in. Until he lays off those or can cheat and get out and maybe even pull those balls foul with authority, then maybe they'll stay away. But right now, until he makes an adjustment, they are just going to keep pounding him in there."

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