With the Orioles southpaw Zach Britton starting on Tuesday, the left-handed Thames wasn't in the lineup for the first time since his first day with the Mariners on July 31. The 25-year-old has hit .222 (4-for-18) with a home run and two RBIs in his first five games.
"New team, back in the show, so it is a matter of getting into a routine again," Thames said. "It's a lot different here, but it feels good."
Thames has played both left and right field for manager Eric Wedge, while hitting eighth in the order. The Mariners figure to use the final two months of this season to see what they've got in the powerful youngster, acquired for reliever Steve Delabar.
"I still want to really watch him some more before I say anything about him," Wedge said. "There are some things to like there. You like his bat speed, he's got some thump. He's been bouncing around the outfield OK. He's a good kid, strong, so I just want to keep watching him play and give him some opportunity here."
Thames spent parts of the past two seasons with Toronto, and was hitting .330 with a .935 OPS in 54 games with Triple-A Las Vegas at the time of the trade. Readjusting to big league pitching is part of his challenge now.
"Of course, the pitching down there and up here is night-and-day different," Thames said. "Getting used to the strike zone and that stuff is different, but once you start getting the at-bats and reps -- I don't want to say it gets easier, because it's never easy -- but it gets more normal.
""I'm still tinkering a little. The eyes and hands aren't in sync quite yet, but it'll all come together soon."
As for his initial impression of the Mariners?
"This is a good group of young guys that want to play hard and win," Thames said. "I love this team just because it's not about individual results, but team results. We do have some veterans helping out, but it's good to be part of an up-and-coming young group where everybody is still developing."