SEATTLE -- Nick Franklin's return to the Mariners turned out to be brief as the young infielder was told after Wednesday's 5-3 victory over the Astros that he's been optioned back to Triple-A Tacoma.
Franklin broke the news himself on Twitter, writing "Las Vegas here I come!"
Las Vegas here I come!- Nick Franklin (@NickFrank20) April 24, 2014
Tacoma opens a four-game series in Las Vegas on Thursday.
Franklin hit .125 (2-for-16) with a triple in six games for the Mariners after being called up on April 16.
After seeing one start at second, one at shortstop and one at designated hitter, he started his first game in right field on Wednesday, going 1-for-3 with an infield single. He made one routine catch in right field, but threw wildly and missed the cutoff man on a two-run double into the corner earlier in the game.
The 23-year-old hit .395 with four home runs and 13 RBIs in 11 games for Tacoma to start the season after losing out on the starting-shortstop battle with Brad Miller in Spring Training. The 2009 first-round Draft pick played 102 games last year as a rookie second baseman, but he lost that job when the Mariners signed Robinson Cano.
The Mariners haven't announced the move yet, but a source indicated that Cole Gillespie, a more-experienced outfielder who is hitting .362 with five home runs and 14 RBIs in 16 games for Tacoma, will likely get the callup.
Gillespie has played 78 games in the Majors with the D-backs, Giants and Cubs over the past four years with a .225 average in 169 at-bats.
He signed as a Minor League free agent with the Mariners over the offseason and had an extremely productive spring in the Major League camp before continuing that with the Rainiers.