As the general manager of a team that has had several key players on the disabled list this season, Jerry Dipoto’s weekly visit with 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Danny, Dave and Moore” has essentially become the Mariners’ injury update.
So, as has become the norm, Dipoto had news to share Thursday regarding three players would should return to the M’s at some point next week during Seattle’s nine-game homestand.
The first expected return is the most surprising: Jean Segura, who suffered a high ankle sprain on June 1 that initially came with a one- to two-month projection of missed time. Segura has had a remarkable recovery thus far, to the point that he has taken batting practice, fielded grounders, undergone agility drills and ran at about 60 percent over the last few days.
“We’re hoping to get Jean Segura back at shortstop sometime perhaps early to mid next week,” Dipoto said.
That would put the Mariners’ usual leadoff hitter on track to be in action at some point during their series against the Detroit Tigers, who will be at Safeco Field from Monday through next Thursday for a four-game set. Segura has a .341/.391/.462 slash line with four homers, 10 doubles, 29 runs scored and 20 RBIs in 43 games this season. Though he does not have enough plate appearances to be eligible for the leaderboard, his batting average would rank second in the American League if that were the case.
The Mariners should also get a couple of big boosts to their pitching rotation in the series following Segura’s return. Felix Hernandez, who has made a pair of rehab starts in the minors and will make one more, is slated to rejoin the Mariners’ active roster when the Astros are in town for three games from June 23-25, as is Hisashi Iwakuma, who threw his first of two expected rehab starts Wednesday. Both pitchers are working back from shoulder issues.
You can hear the full interview with Dipoto, which covers several topics including Ben Gamel’s spectacular catch on Wednesday, Mike Zunino’s offensive improvements and Taylor Motter’s recent struggles, at this link.