The Mariners had nothing but trouble getting production out of their designated hitter position last year.
So they went out and signed former A's slugger Jack Cust with the hope he would make that problem go away.
It hasn't. Cust, hitting .175 with no homers and just four RBI was on the bench Thursday in Kauffman Stadium for the second time in three days. Yes, both times the Mariners were facing a left-handed pitcher, but the idea with Cust was that he'd be able to face both lefties and righties.
So far, not so much.
And the thing is, the Mariners really don't have good options for the cleanup spot if Cust isn't in there. His replacements have been catcher Miguel Olivo on Tuesday and backup infielder Adam Kennedy on Thursday, in the Mariners' 5-1 loss to Kansas City.
Kennedy was batting cleanup for just the second time in his career, and the last time was the tail end of the 2006 season. Olivo is closing in on 900 career games played, and only 15 of those have been as a DH.
"I don't think we have a true four-hole hitter right now," manager Eric Wedge said.
Kennedy did wind up getting the Mariners' one RBI Thursday, his first of the year, on a sacrifice fly.
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