Mariners notebook: Cano ‘a little better,’ sits on bobblehead night

In terms of marketing, this was less than ideal. The Mariners distributed 20,000 Robinson Cano bobblehead dolls prior to Saturday’s game against Detroit with Cano absent for a third straight game from the starting lineup.

Cano is battling a bruised left hand that occurred last week against the Angels when his bat jammed into the webbed area between the thumb and forefinger.

All indications suggest the injury is minor, but the Mariners want to keep it that way — although manager Lloyd McClendon, in his pregame news briefing, didn’t rule out the possibility Cano could pinch-hit on Saturday if needed.

“He’s improving,” McClendon said, “but we’re not taking any chances. We’ll see how he is. I need to talk to the trainers, but the treatment is certainly working.”

Cano agreed his hand is “a little better” since treatment began.

Veteran Willie Bloomquist replaced Cano at second base in Saturday’s game, while Mike Zunino filled Cano’s No. 3 slot in the lineup.

Cano is batting .327 with two homers and 31 RBI in his first season for the Mariners after signing a 10-year deal as a free agent in December for $240 million after nine seasons with the New York Yankees.

He hasn’t missed three straight games since his second big-league season, when a strained left hamstring in late June 2006 forced him to the disabled list for 35 games.

Cano played in at least 159 games for the Yankees in each season from 2007-13 and had started the Mariners’ first 52 games this season prior to his injury.

On to El Paso

Right-hander Taijuan Walker is slotted to make his next rehab start Monday for Class AAA Tacoma at El Paso (Padres).

Walker gave up four runs and five hits over three innings last Wednesday in the Rainiers’ 3-1 loss to Salt Lake. It was the first outing in his second rehab assignment for a sore shoulder.

Afterward, Walker admitted he was rusty.

“It was that third inning,” he said. “I was leaving everything up. I wasn’t really locating my fastball, and I wasn’t able to throw anything else.”

McClendon previously indicated Walker would need to make at least one, and probably more than one, additional rehab start — and to pitch well — before he is considered for duty in the big-league rotation.

Walker initially reported shoulder soreness in February but recovered sufficiently to make two rehab starts in early April before the problem resurfaced.

Back to New York

Brooklyn-native James Jones has been to Yankee Stadium, but he’s never seen a game there — much less played in a game there. That figures to change Monday when the Mariners return to the Bronx for a makeup game.

“I’ve been there for a workout,” Jones said, “but I’ve never seen a game there. I’m looking forward to it.”

Jones, 25, was recalled May 5 from Class AAA Tacoma — four days after the Mariners bookended an April 30 rainout with two victories over the Yankees.

He had played in every game since his recall, including starts in 19 straight games, before sitting Saturday against Tigers lefty Drew Smyly.

“We’re just giving him a break,” McClendon said. “He’s been grinding it pretty tough, and I think Endy (Chavez) is probably more equipped to handle a guy like this.”

Maybe so, but not much has overwhelmed Jones, who carried a .287 average into Saturday with a .340 on-base percentage plus a club-leading five steals in six chances.

Now, he gets to return home, as a big-leaguer, for friends and family Monday at Yankee Stadium.

“I’m limiting myself to 10 tickets in New York,” Jones said. “But my mom will be there. For sure.”

Short hops

Kyle Seager leads the Mariners with eight homers, and here’s an oddity: All eight have been hit at Safeco Field. Eight also matches the most homers he’s ever hit in a single season at Safeco … The Mariners reassigned veteran outfielder/first baseman Xavier Nady to Class AAA Tacoma. He had been in extended spring training after signing a minor-league deal … The Mariners continue to list their starter for Tuesday’s game in Atlanta as TBA. Current plans point to a recall of right-hander Erasmo Ramirez from Tacoma.

Looking back

It was 11 years ago Sunday — June 1, 2003 — that the Mariners set a franchise record by opening a game with seven consecutive hits.

The barrage came against Kenny Rogers in a six-run first inning that produced a 9-5 victory at Minnesota.

Randy Winn, Carlos Guillen, Bret Boone, Edgar Martinez and Mike Cameron started the game with singles, which produced three runs. Greg Colbrunn’s triple made it 5-0 before Jeff Cirillo had an RBI single.

On tap

The Mariners conclude their 11-game homestand at 1:10 p.m. Sunday at Safeco Field with the last of three weekend games against the Detroit Tigers.

Left-hander Roenis Elias (3-4 with a 4.02 ERA) will start against Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer (6-1 and 3.00). Scherzer is the American League’s reigning Cy Young Award winner.

Root Sports will carry the game.

The Mariners then travel to New York for a make-up game Monday at Yankee Stadium. Right-hander Felix Hernandez (7-1 and 2.57) will face New York right-hander David Phelps (1-2 and 3.38).

Then it’s onto Atlanta for games Tuesday and Wednesday. After an open date Thursday, the Mariners play a four-game wraparound series (Friday-to-Monday) at Tampa Bay.

More in Sports

Lake Stevens girls show grit in 66-58 win over Glacier Peak

The Vikings rally from 13 down at half to take over sole possession of 1st place in Wesco 4A.

Friday’s prep basketball scores, recaps

Once again, a variety of local high school basketball players turned in… Continue reading

Bearcats pull away from Jackson in 79-67 win

Monroe’s Colby Kyle scores 24 points in his return from injury and Spencer Davidson tacks on 21.

Silvertips set to host pair of East Division powerhouses

Brandon and Swift Current make rare appearances in Everett this weekend.

‘Fear’ drives UWs Carter III back to the gym every single day

The freshman PG tries to get in 500 shots a day on his quest to be a success on the floor and in life.

Friday’s prep stars of the night

George Reidy, G, Cedar Park Christian Reidy, a senior, scored 38 of… Continue reading

Everett’s Stephan Erosa, left, competes against Arlington Brantly StupeyThursday night at Arlington High School in Arlington on January 18, 2018. The Eagles won 37-25.(Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Arlington wrestlers scrap to 37-25 win over Everett

Aggressive lineup moves pay off for the Eagles in a big Wesco 3A North win over the Seagulls.

Additions of Murray, Sharp give Silvertips depth

After a ‘crazy busy’ week upon being traded to Everett, the new duo is finally settling in.

Coupeville boys basketball celebrating 101st anniversary Friday

The Coupeville High School boys basketball program is celebrating its… Continue reading

Most Read