ARLINGTON -- Mariners rookie second baseman Nick Franklin, mired in a tough slump after getting off to a hot start this season, got the day off Saturday as acting manager Robby Thompson juggled the middle of his infield with Felix Hernandez on the mound.
Franklin, who hit .296 with four home runs in his first five weeks after getting called up in late May, has seen his average fall to .239 after 65 games in the big leagues. He's hit just .194 (27-for-139) since July 1 with 52 strikeouts in 34 games.
Franklin is 5-for-52 (.096) with 19 strikeouts over his last 12 starts. With the left-hander Martin Perez starting for the Rangers, Thompson felt this was a good time to rest the switch-hitter before Seattle faces righties the next four days.
"We'll give Nick a little rest and a work day for him," Thompson said. "He's been struggling and even more so from the right side. But it's all part of the process of getting back into it."
Veteran shortstop Brendan Ryan got the start in Franklin's place, with rookie Brad Miller moving from short to second base.