OAKLAND -- John Jaso has provided the Mariners a clutch bat and needed high on-base percentage this season and for good measure he's added in some surprising power at times.
Jaso hit his 10th home run of the season in Thursday's 9-4 victory in Anaheim, with that total coming in his 103rd game with the Mariners. Prior to this season, Jaso had 10 home runs in 203 career games with the Rays.
He also leads the Mariners in batting average at .275 going into Friday's series opener with the A's and is second to Detroit's Prince Fielder in on-base percentage in the American League since the All-Star break with his .415 mark.
"I just kind of found myself a little this year," Jaso said. "I've actually relaxed a little this year, too. It's kind of weird how this game goes like that. But the change of scenery a little bit and relaxing [helped]."
Jaso said he's thrived with a less-is-more approach in terms of his pregame work this season in the indoor hitting cages where most players spend time before batting practice.
"You can find on any team, there's all this stress about how you need to be in the cage at this time or if you're a rookie you need to be hitting at this time or that," he said. "If you're not in there, then shame on you and stuff. I hardly ever go in the cage. I just take BP and that works so well for me. Being able to relax and not worry so much about those things and where you are at certain times, it's just felt a little more free."
Jaso's approach and the way he's been used this season have helped him stay strong at the plate.
"Every season I've had spurts where my bat just felt heavy and I'd go to the plate hoping for off-speed stuff just to help me out," he said with a chuckle. "But I haven't had that this year and I think just staying fresh has helped. It could be different things, too. I think I've caught less this year and playing on the turf in Tampa really drains your body."