Mariners notebook: Nelson Cruz update and Fernando Rodney’s availability
CLEVELAND –Just a lineup and some quick notes today as it took a little longer to finish my radio pregame duties:
There is good news on the Nelson Cruz front as it appears the back spasms he suffered Tuesday night were not serious. Cruz told me he felt a little something earlier in the day and that if manager Lloyd McClendon hadn’t stopped the at-bat he would have stepped back in.
McClendon is holding him out of the lineup today as a precaution but said he should be available to pinch hit. He most likely will have him back in the lineup as the designated hitter Thursday.
Cruz has not had a history of back issues so this is not expected to linger. That said, McClendon said we probably will see more of Cruz in the DH spot as they go forward.
The other pregame note of interest is that Fernando Rodney is available to pitch tonight.
“Rodney’s ready to go,” McClendon said.
It was back-to-back outings in which Rodney did not have fastball command that prompted McClendon to sit him down for a couple of days and get some extra work before games. How “ready to go” translates to what happens on the field if Rodney gets out there has yet to be seen.
“Sideline is one thing, competing in a game is another,” McClendon said. “We’ll see.”
McClendon would not say whether he would go to Carson Smith for a second straight night if there was a save opportunity.
Logan Morrison, 1B
Austin Jackson, CF
Robinson Cano, 2B
Kyle Seager, 3B
Seth Smith, DH
Mark Trumbo, RF
Dustin Ackley, LF
Brad Miller, SS
Mike Zunino, C
Taijuan Walker, RHP
With Cruz out, Mark Trumbo is playing right field for the first time as a Mariner. While he has played left field in the past, McClendon would like to limit him to right field, DH or first base.
Montgomery on Indians’ Bauer
Mariners pitcher Mike Montgomery was a high school teammate of tonight’s starter for the Indians, Trevor Bauer, who is known for having rather unorthodox preparation and between-game work. I asked Montgomery if that came from his high school program and if he did any similar work.
“Uh, no. He was doing those (on his own) in high school,” Montgomery said with a laugh. “He’s a smart kid. He was always ahead of the curve. In high school we were a little lost at the things he was saying and ‘Um, sure, man, whatever works for you.’ But what he’s done, I give him all the respect. He’s done really well. At the end of the day everyone is going to have a little bit of a different routine.”
– The 2015 draft has come to a close and with their final pick the Mariners selected catcher Mike Rojas Jr. out of Gulf Coast High School in Florida. Rojas Jr. is the son of Mariners bullpen coach Mike Rojas.