SHANNON DRAYER

Injured Leonys Martin will travel with Mariners to keep ‘his energy in the dugout’

May 29, 2016, 2:57 PM | Updated: 4:10 pm

In the scope of the injuries we have seen other teams take this season, losing shortstop Ketel Marte and center fielder Leonys Martin to minor, 15-day injuries is not a terrible thing. Perhaps it’s even lucky considering that both injuries could have been worse.

Still, to be missing two huge parts of your up-the-middle defense and two-thirds of an important part of your lineup – be it at the top or in flipping the lineup over – the loss is very significant.

“We are a much different lineup when we don’t have Ketel in our lineup,” Jerry Dipoto stated on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Sunday Magazine Show. “From the right side, he is a real threat against left-handed pitching and not just a single and a bag. He’s got a chance to do a little damage.”

Related: Mariners feel impact of losing both Leonys Martin and Ketel Marte

And damage he has done, hitting a team-best .291 against southpaws with an on-base percentage of .310 and OPS of .747. Martin, meanwhile, had been hitting lefties and righties well when he went down with a hamstring injury. But it is not just the bat and the glove the Mariners miss about Martin, but the intangibles as well. So much so that Dipoto wants the 28-yer-old to stay with the club when the team hits the road following Tuesday’s game against San Diego.

“It hurts to lose those guys. More than filling those spots in the lineup, it’s the energy they bring to the field every day,” Dipoto said. “Leonys, we are going to travel him with the big-league club just to keep his energy in the dugout.”

Marte has fielded grounders this week and progressed to taking batting practice off of a live arm in the cage Sunday morning. He should be sent out on a rehab assignment early this week. He is expected to be ready to re-join the team June 6 when he is eligible to come off the DL. As for Martin, he is eligible to return June 10 and, barring any setbacks, is also not expected to require additional recovery time.

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