Mariners notes: ‘Mr. Mariner’ joins team in player development

SEATTLE — Alvin Davis, one of the more popular players in Seattle Mariners history — and the 1984 American League Rookie of the Year — has rejoined the team as a minor league roving instructor.

Davis, who played with the team from 1984 through 1991 and is known as “Mr. Mariner”, was the first player inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame, and director of player development Chris Gwynn said Davis is already on the job.

“I am really excited to add Alvin to our player development staff,” Gwynn said. “His knowledge, intellect and teaching ability will help our young players as they progress through our system.”

Drafted by Seattle in 1982, the first baseman batted .284 with 27 home runs and 116 RBI in ‘84 and was named to the All-Star team that season. Davis retired after the ‘92 season with a .280 career batting average.

Davis will be in Seattle this weekend for the Mariners Hall of Fame induction ceremonies for Dan Wilson and Randy Johnson, and will throw out the ceremonial first pitch tonight before the Mariners-Royals game.

Sub-Mendoza hitters

When manager Eric Wedge posted his lineup before Thursday’s game, it included four batters — the Mariners six-through-nine hitters — with batting averages below .200.

First baseman Mike Carp (.146), catcher Miguel Olivo (.198), right fielder Carlos Peguero (.161) and shortstop Brendan Ryan (.188) were all below the Mendoza Line.

And it could have been worse.

On Seattle’s bench, Wedge had outfielder Trayvon Robinson (.000) and infielders Chone Figgins (.181) and Munenori Kawasaki (.192).

Ackley here to stay

With Justin Smoak in Tacoma straightening out his swing, can second baseman Dustin Ackley be far behind?

Yes.

“I talked to Dustin (Wednesday), because I felt like he’d just missed a few pitches, had a few good plays made against him and wanted him to hang in there,” Wedge said.

“Dustin seems pretty consistent with it, and you have to be with your approach. We have two months left in the season, and that’s a lot of games, a lot of innings, and a lot of at-bats left.”

Short hops

Starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma has flown home to Japan for personal reasons, but the Mariners say he will return to the team on Saturday and will not miss his next scheduled start Monday. … The Mariners infield began the Royals series having turned a ground ball double play in each of its last 12 games — the longest streak by a Seattle team since a 13-game streak in 2003. … Think swinging at the first pitch is a mistake? Depends who’s doing it. John Jaso is batting .550 in 20 at-bats when swinging at the first pitch, and Michael Saunders has hit .528 in 36 such at-bats. … In his first 12 save opportunities this season, Tom Wilhelmsen allowed three hits in 43 at-bats, a .070 batting average. … No Mariner hitter had more than two hits in the three-game series against the New York Yankees.

On tap

Seattle hosts Kansas City in a 7:10 p.m. game that will be televised on ROOT. Probable starting pitchers: Jeremy Guthrie (0-1, 9.00) vs. Blake Beavan (5-6, 5.54).

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