Tied for last in the American League with the Blue Jays in homers (69), Seattle desperately needed some bang in the batting order, and Jacobsen delivered right away. Last Saturday, in his third major league at bat, he slugged a two-run homer in a 6-5 loss to Cleveland, and in his first three games was 5 for 8 with two homers and five RBIs.
With his unmistakable look and big swing Jacobsen developed a cultlike following during his eight-year minor league career. His fans created a website, and his name was already being chanted at Safeco Field on Saturday night. What kept him from getting to Seattle sooner was primarily an inability to hit the curveball. "I had some holes in my swing," says Jacobsen, "but I'm a better hitter and a better overall player now."
Manager Bob Melvin, whose club was 34-56 through Sunday, plans to use Jacobsen at first base and as a DH and a pinch hitter, saying, "We didn't bring him up here to sit him." The winner of the Triple A All-Star Home Run Derby, Jacobsen might be the only thing Mariners fans have to cheer about in the second half.