Mariners notebook: Scott Servais will look to get regulars a day off
TORONTO – The Mariners lineup card was filled out with the names of the regular starting nine against a righty Tuesday afternoon in Toronto, but in manager Scott Servais’ pregame sit down with the media Tuesday, he gave the group the heads up that things could look a little different in the coming days. That’s because he plans to get some of his regulars a day off on the road trip, with Robinson Cano, Jean Segura and Kyle Seager all due, according to the skipper.
“We are just looking at matchups and what might be the best day to give them a break,” Servais said. “You probably won’t see our entire lineup out there every day of this trip.”
If the off days indeed happen, it will be more about length of schedule than the current situation of playing games in 39 of the next 41 days. It has long been a goal to get the regulars a few scheduled days off each year, but it’s been tough to follow through in the heat of battle. Earlier this season when Nelson Cruz was on the disabled list, Servais had planned to get Cano and Seager a day each at DH to get them off their feet a little. Cano got a DH day, Seager did not. If I had to guess, I would say that Seager talked his way out of a half-day off. If this was indeed the case, he might not be as successful in his next attempt.
“It’s really important,” said Servais. “I’m not sure the tank is every completely full after you get past the first couple of weeks of the season. You get a few nicks and bruises, you get a little sore, you have to play through some of that stuff. I always think it is probably as much mentally as it is physically giving them a blow, keeping them fresh going forward. They all argue with me they don’t need a day and they all are going to play 162 games a year but that’s not going to happen.”
We have seen other teams do this. The Astros most notably give their healthy regulars days off at different points of the season. It is all part of the rest-and-recovery program. As Servais noted, no player is 100 percent after the season gets going. A single day off gives the player the opportunity to get some back. It also helps protect against injury as fatigued athletes are more likely to get hurt.
“Instead of waiting for an injury to happen, or waiting for somebody to foul a ball off their foot or get banged at second base, let’s be more proactive,” said Servais.
• Injured reliever Dan Altavilla headed to Arkansas after his pregame workout Sunday to get ready to start his rehab assignment. He was scheduled to throw a bullpen Tuesday and then should pitch in the Travelers game Thursday, the same day he is eligible to come off the DL. There is a chance he could rejoin the team on the current road trip.
• James Paxton took the hill Tuesday night here in Toronto as the new record holder for strikeouts in a game thrown by a Canadian pitcher. With his 16 strikeouts against the A’s last week at Safeco Field, he passed Erik Bedard. While Bedard was a Mariner, he struck out 15 as an Oriole (of course) in a game against the Rangers in 2007.
• Servais did not have any word on the sim game Hisashi Iwakuma was scheduled to throw in Arizona. We should hear more about that Wednesday.