SHANNON DRAYER

Jean Segura returns for Mariners, and more are on the way

Mar 16, 2018, 12:26 PM
The Mariners made a welcome change to their lineup Friday for Jean Segura's return. (AP)...
The Mariners made a welcome change to their lineup Friday for Jean Segura's return. (AP)
(AP)

PEORIA, Ariz. – As we have seen many times in the last week, there was a lineup change hours before the Mariners were scheduled to take the field Friday.

Instead of a player being scratched because of an injury ding or dent, this time the adjustment had to be made because a player was coming back – and we should see plenty of that in the coming days.

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Jean Segura was the player who disrupted the lineup Friday. The hamstring tightness he experienced Wednesday night was just that – tightness. The Mariners shortstop was given a day off for precautionary reasons and he is back in the lineup. Ichiro, who left the same ballgame with calf tightness, will most likely be out a few days longer. He did take the field for some individual work, however, as the team was leaving for Surprise to play the Texas Rangers.

As for the others we should see soon, first baseman Ryon Healy is taking live batting practice Friday and if all goes well will be in the lineup Saturday. Designated hitter Nelson Cruz (quad) and second baseman Robinson Cano (hamstring) are expected back early next week. Utility man Andrew Romine (shoulder) is aiming for a Wednesday return. Pitcher Marco Gonzales (non-pitching hand) will make his scheduled start Saturday, and perhaps the biggest return will come in a minor league game Monday as Felix Herndandez (arm contusion) will take the field once again.

All good. Now the question is how the Mariners keep these and other players on the field. In an effort to further attack the issue of soft tissue injuries, manager Scott Servais recently gathered the medical, training and coaching staffs to further examine the issue and determine if they need to make further adjustments in what they do to try and prevent such injuries.

“I think we do,” Servais said. “We are trying to be out ahead of it. You look at the soft tissue stuff, it comes down to preparation. Are the guys doing enough before the game? It comes down to hydration, especially in Arizona it becomes an issue, and then the fatigue issue. Are guys just getting tired? If you break it down into those three categories, trying to address and change the programs up a little bit. I don’t now if we are changing a ton or just trying to create more awareness around them. You might see a couple of things a little different going forward.”

We did indeed see something a little different on the field before the Mariners’ game against the A’s in Mesa Thursday night. While guys typically come out and stretch with trainers on their own doing their individual programs, this time the team was lined up on the foul line for extra running, which became a little more intense than what one would normally see. After the long bus trip it gets them warm, but even more importantly it further creates an awareness, according to Servais. Whatever it takes.

“We can’t afford to lose anybody else for an extended period of time heading into the season,” Servais said. “We have got to make sure we are on top of it.”

Lineup! vs Rangers

Dee Gordon, CF
Jean Segura, SS
Guillermo Heredia, LF
Mike Zunino, C
Daniel Vogelbach, 1B
Mike Marjama, DH
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, RF
Gordon Beckham, 3B
Danny Muno, 2B

Mike Leake, RHP

Also scheduled to pitch: Dan Altavilla, Marc Rzepczynski, Art Warren, Chasen Bradford.

Notes

• With a game against the A’s on Monday, both Felix and James Paxton will pitch in minor league games instead that day. Teams generally don’t like to show their starters against division rivals later in spring training. Christian Bergman will start the game against the A’s.

• We will start to see the utility players move around the diamond a little more over the next week. All should get a few innings at first base as will Mike Marjama, who as a convert to catcher has played first and third in the past.

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