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Saunders likely heading to DL; who takes his place?

By Shannon Drayer

The Mariners will be without Michael Saunders for some time. How long, we do not yet know.

Saunders was diagnosed with a right shoulder sprain after crashing into the wall in right field in the first inning of Wednesday’s game against the Astros. It was announced that he would be re-examined by team doctor Ed Khalfayan but is expected to miss “some time”, according to the team.

After the game Eric Wedge said there was a possibility that Saunders would not need to be placed on the DL but he didn’t sound too convincing when he said that. Mike Carp missed a month with a shoulder sprain at the beginning of last season and it is hard to imagine Saunders missing anything less than a few weeks.

Saunders crashed right-shoulder-first into the wall on the first play of Wednesday’s game after making a catch. He fell to the ground on his back and pointed to his shoulder as teammates gathered around him and trainers rushed to his aid. He walked off the field minutes later and Jason Bay took his place in right field.

If Saunders does go on the DL the team most likely will have to make a move to get Endy Chavez on the 40-man roster and then call him up. Carlos Peguero and Eric Thames are options at Triple-A who are on the 40-man roster but neither have played center at the big-league level. The only other options to avoid a 40-man roster move would be to bring Julio Morban up from Double-A or go with Bay in center when Franklin Gutierrez needs days off, but I find it hard to believe that they would go in the direction of the latter option.

We will learn more later today.

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