Notebook: Mariners will know more about injured players Monday
PEORIA, Ariz. – When Mariners team doctor Dr. Edward Khalfayan arrives in Peoria Monday for minor league physicals, he will need to carve out a good amount of time for the big leaguers, as well. The list of players that will need to be seen by him has grown over the last few days.
Here is a rundown on who the doctor will need to see, and fortunately, it’s not all bad news.
• Guillermo Heredia is well ahead of schedule in his recovery from offseason shoulder surgery. Heredia has been hitting for almost two weeks now, but the Mariners have played it super cautious with him by keeping him out of games. He was cleared Friday to DH in games, a little ahead of schedule. While cleared to hit, the Mariners will keep him out of the field for at least a week as they do not want him diving for balls or crashing into walls.
• Mitch Haniger saw the hand specialist Friday and took his first two-handed swings Saturday since experiencing soreness early in camp. He should hit soft toss Sunday and then take batting practice in the next couple of days. Haniger told me earlier in the week that the hand was 100 percent. The true test will be if it stays 100 percent as he had good weeks and bad weeks with it over the winter. The Mariners are hoping the complete shutdown will quiet once and for all what both Haniger and Servais have called “a little tendinitis.”
• Erasmo Ramirez has hit the two-week mark after being shut down because of a lat strain.
• Ben Gamel does not yet have a clear picture after tweaking his lower back Friday. Dr. Khalfayan will review Gamel’s MRI on Monday and we should have a better picture then. “He’s still tender,” said Servais. “He’s probably going to be four to five days down at least. We just have to wait an see.”
• Nick Rumbelow came out of his first and only Cactus League appearance on the mound with a cut on his thumb and we haven’t seen him since. Turns out he has experienced shoulder discomfort and the Mariners are awaiting test his test results.
Lineup! vs Rangers, 12:05 p.m. on 710 ESPN Seattle
Ian Miller, LF
Andrew Romine, 2B
Guillermo Heredia, DH
Daniel Vogelbach, 1B
Junior Lake, RF
Gordon Beckham, 3B
Taylor Motter, SS
Mike Marjama, C
Braden Bishop, CF
James Paxton, LHP
Also scheduled to pitch: Andrew Moore, Edwin Diaz, Ryan Cook, Sam Moll, Ljay Newsome.
• Nelson Cruz was originally in Sunday’s lineup but was called into Servais’ office right before the media this morning to be given the word that he would not be traveling to the Rangers’ field in Surprise after all. “I wanted to let him know what we were thinking,” said Servais. “He gets into his zone, his routine. Before he got there, ‘By the way, you are not going to play today.'” With the Mariners playing their first day game after a night game this spring and Cruz needing to work on his timing at the plate, it made more sense to let him stay in Peoria to work. “You go back-to-back, it just didn’t make sense the more I thought about it last night,” said Servais. “Bring him back today and go over there for two at-bats. We’ve got three night games in a row coming up off the off day. We’ll ramp it up.” The closed door meeting took all of about three minutes. “The manager is in trouble,” Cruz said with a laugh when he exited Servais’ office.
• We should soon see Nick Vincent in his first Cactus League game this spring. Vincent threw a light bullpen Saturday, will throw another on Tuesday and at that point could throw either a live BP or in a game.
• Monday is the first off day of the spring for the Mariners. Some players will work through it, however, with Haniger scheduled to come in to hit and Ariel Miranda throwing in a minor league intrasquad game.
• Pitching probables for the week: Tuesday vs. Colorado, Mike Leake; Wednesday vs. Oakland, Marco Gonzales; Thursday vs. San Francisco, Rob Whalen; Friday at San Francisco, Paxton.