By Bob Dutton The News Tribune
BALTIMORE — Corey Hart’s rocky comeback season with the Seattle Mariners hit another bump Saturday when he was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a bruised right knee.
Don’t look for a quick return.
“I know we’ve only got two months left,” he said, “so I would love to make sure I get back and be competitive for the last month. But I want to be competitive. I don’t want to come back and be doing what I’ve been doing.”
The move permitted the Mariners to clear space on their 25-man roster to activate left-hander James Paxton from the 60-day disabled list. Paxton started Saturday night’s game against Baltimore at Camden Yards.
The Mariners also cleared space for Paxton on their 40-man organizational roster by outrighting right-hander Blake Beavan to Triple-A Tacoma after he cleared waivers.
Hart’s injury came four weeks after he returned to active duty after missing more than six weeks because of a strained left hamstring. It occurred when he slammed into the right-field wall a few days ago in Cleveland.
“When he went after that ball,” manager Lloyd McClendon said, “it scared me. He took an awkward fall. He didn’t say anything about it until (Friday) night.”
Hart admitted he tried to play through the injury.
“I probably shouldn’t have played (Friday),” he said, “but I was still trying to find it.”
The Mariners signed Hart, 32, as a free agent in December to a one-year deal for $6 million in the hope he could regain his form after missing all of last season because of surgeries on both knees.
It hasn’t happened.
Hart is batting .203 with five homers and 20 RBI in 207 at-bats over 57 games. He batted .191 (13-for-68) with no homers and three RBI in 21 games after returning from his hamstring injury.
“I just came back too quick and tried to overdo it,” he said. “Playing the field kind of made it worse for me. DHing is OK. I don’t have to run around too much.
“But in the outfield, doing a lot of stuff, was just a little too much. I tried to act like it wasn’t, but it just was.”
Beavan, 25, is also laboring through an injury-filled season. He began the season at Tacoma before getting recalled for an April 15 start at Texas. He lasted four innings because of shoulder soreness.
The injury was later diagnosed as tendinitis and prevented him from returning to the mound until a July 14 rehab start at Hi-A High Desert. He was activated July 25 and optioned to Tacoma.
Beavan is 3-0 with a 2.14 ERA in seven appearances, including two starts, for the Rainiers.