By Brent Stecker
The streaking Mariners will get a big addition in the form of Corey Hart and his big right-handed bat in time for this weekend’s series against the White Sox.
Hart, one of the Mariners big offseason acquisitions, was activated from the 15-day disabled list Friday, and he will bat fourth as the designated hitter in the first game against Chicago, set for 4:10 p.m. on 710 ESPN Seattle.
Cole Gillespie was designated for assignment to make room on the 25-man roster for the 32-year-old Hart.
Hart has a .209 batting average, five home runs and 17 RBIs in 37 games in the majors this season, but he’s been out of action since May 19 with a strained hamstring. The former Brewer and two-time All-Star just finished a 10-game rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma, where he hit .297 with five extra-base hits and four RBIs in 37 at-bats.
It is expected Hart will reassume the designated hitter position with the Mariners. He has started 34 games as the DH, two in right field and one at first base for Seattle. Endy Chavez has recently had the lion’s share of starts at DH for the M’s.
Gillespie, a journeyman outfielder who has played for five teams since his 2010 MLB debut, hit .254 with a home run and five RBIs in 34 games with Seattle. The Mariners have 10 days to trade, release or outright his contract to a minor-league affiliate.