Notebook: Minor injuries mounting for Mariners at critical time
Jul 16, 2016, 12:09 PM | Updated: 6:40 pm
A fair share of Mariners have seen time on the disabled list this season, but with the second half of the season underway, even the little bumps and bruises are starting to mount.
Both shortstop Ketel Marte and slugger Nelson Cruz were out of the lineup Saturday for the second game of their series against Houston after they suffered minor injuries the night before. For Marte, it was a sprained ankle on a slide, while Cruz has a bruise on his left foot from hitting a foul ball off of it. Both are day-to-day, said manager Scott Servais.
Marte’s injury is the second of the season for him, both of which occurred while sliding on the base paths. Servais said Seattle has identified that as a problem that needs to be fixed and a plan has been put together to do just that.
“We’ve got to tighten up Ketel’s sliding. It’s an issue. His technique is poor. Obviously that’s where the injuries come from,” said Servais.
Hovering around a .500 record, the Mariners can ill afford to be without everyday players, especially when they’re playing a Houston team they are chasing both in the division and in the Wild Card race.
“We all know we’re kind of at the important part of our season right now, there’s no doubt. Obviously you want to have all your guys healthy,” Servais said. “Timing’s everything and it’s not great timing for a couple of your key guys to be out.”
Any games against Houston are especially critical, as the Astros have a 7-5 advantage in the season series, even after Seattle won Saturday.
“We haven’t played well against the Astros. They’ve dominated us, the last five, six times especially,” Servais said before Saturday’s game. “We haven’t done the little things well. They’ve pitched well against us. They’re one of the teams ahead of us and it’s pretty obvious we need to get it in gear.”
• The report from Felix Hernandez’s rehab start with Triple-A Tacoma on Friday was good, and he is set to make his return Wednesday for the Mariners in the finale of their homestand against the White Sox. He threw 75 pitches, striking out seven and allowing just one run on five hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings for the Rainiers.
• Taijuan Walker, who has been walking in a boot to help with his right foot tendinitis, told reporters he is set to get the boot off Sunday and then begin light throwing. He hopes to be back in Seattle’s rotation in a few weeks.