(1090 The Fan) — The Seattle Mariners have added Robinson Cano, Corey Hart and Logan Morrison to the lineup, but the club’s 2014 offense may be up to the likes of Justin Smoak and Michael Saunders. Like Smoak, new hitting coach Howard Johnson was a switch hitter during his own playing days, which may be key to Smoak’s season.
One question of Smoak that has come up over the past year or so is whether or not it would make sense for him to give up switch hitting and focus on one side — the 27-year-old was significantly better in 2013 as a left-handed batter — but Johnson shot down that idea, saying “it’s too much of an advantage,” to switch hitting. If Smoak, for example, were to scrap switch hitting and become a lefty stick only, he’d have to start from scratch facing left-handed pitching as a left-handed batter.
Johnson also opined on the effect of the Mariners’ $240 million man, noting Cano “has a big impact on everything we do,” but also says the M’s know they can’t be a one-or-two man show.
The former MLB All-Star and first-year big-league coach joined Bill Swartz and Jason A. Churchill Friday to discuss such subjects, Saunders’ prospects for 2014 and more.