The Mariners officially announced the recall of OF Michael Saunders and the demotion of 1B/DH Jesus Montero prior to Friday’s contest with the Indians. Seattle continues a six-game homestand with three games against the Indians (38-40) who have dropped four of their last five games.
Saunders was placed on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right AC joint, that’s his shoulder for those not familiar with what an AC joint is. In five rehab starts with Tacoma, Saunders hit .450 (9-for-20) with two doubles, a triple, a home run and seven RBI. He is in the lineup and will hit seventh, not second as he was regularly before getting injured. It appears to be just a simple case of manager Lloyd McClendon wishing not to disrupt success.
“I think having him in the seven-hole gives us a little bit of a deeper lineup,” McClendon said. “Endy and Jones have been doing a good job up top. Makes sense.”
The return of Saunders, moves Chavez into the DH role at least for Friday’s game. The Tribe will be trotting out right-hander Trevor Bauer (2-3, 4.40 ERA) who is still searching for his first career road win in the majors. Bauer is 0-4 with a 7.53 ERA in seven road starts.
Cleveland enters this series sitting in third place in the AL Central, 6.5 games back of the division-leading Tigers which is the exact same situation Seattle finds itself in the AL West despite being five games over .500. Cleveland is ranked seventh in the AL in hitting with a .257 team avg., t-4th in runs with 350 thru 78 games, but just 12th in league with a 4.14 ERA and t-11th with .259 opponent avg.
This is also a squad that is currently carrying nine relievers. That’s right, nine. So despite having two of the top five or six hitters in the league with Michael Brantley (.325) and Lonnie Chisenhall (.352), the team has struggled with consistency.
1. Endy Chavez (L) dh
2. James Jones (L) cf
3. Robinson Cano (L) 2b
4. Kyle Seager (L) 3b
5. Logan Morrison (L) 1b
6. Mike Zunino c
7. Michael Saunders (L) rf
8. Dustin Ackley (L) lf
9. Brad Miller (L) ss
rhp Chris Young (6-4, 3.24 ERA)
1. Michael Bourn (L) cf
2. Asdrubal Cabrera (S) ss
3. Michael Brantley (L) lf
4. Carlos Santana (s) 1b
5. Jason Kipnis (L) 2b
6. Lonnie Chisenhall (L) 3b
7. Yan Gomes c
8. Nick Swisher (s) dh
9. David Murphy (L) rf
rhp Trevor Bauer (2-3, 4.40 ERA)
– lhp James Paxton threw a 25-pitch bullpen session Friday. The first 10 pitches the catcher was planted directly over the plate and the final 15 in his normal spot behind it. Paxton said he threw a full repertoire and felt good. He will progressively throw more pitches in two more pen sessions beginning Monday before facing live hitters in a simulated game perhaps as soon as next weekend.
– Cleveland will start lhp T.J. House opposite Felix Hernandez on Sunday.
– Seattle still has not officially announced its starter for Monday against Houston but barring the unforeseen, it will be rhp Taijuan Walker making his 2014 debut.