By John Boyle
As expected, outfielder Michael Saunders has been placed on the 15-day disabled list a day after spraining the AC joint in his right shoulder. Outfielder Endy Chavez has been recalled from AAA Tacoma to give the Mariners another outfielder capable of playing centerfield, and right hander DJ Mitchell was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Chavez.
As for Saunders, he’s obviously not thrilled to be going on the DL, but all things considered, he considers himself fortunate.
“When I hit the wall and fell over, it kind of went numb,” Saunders said. “My initial reaction was I thought it was my collar bone. I definitely thought something was wrong, however out of a bad situation, it was the best-case scenario. That’s the best outcome that could have happened. I’ve got a sprained AC joint, it is what it is. We’ve got to wait for the inflammation to go down, and as soon as that happens we can start getting to work on it. I’m going to bust my ass to work hard and get back in there. It’s not a serious injury, so that’s encouraging, but it certainly is going to be a couple of days.”
Just don’t expect Saunders to change his play when he gets back in a couple of weeks.
“If I could do it all over again, I’d do the exact same thing,” he said. “As an outfielder I’m there to make the catch. I’m not pulling up because of the wall.”
The Mariners made another significant move earlier in the day, trading minor league pitcher Steven Hensley to Colorado for veteran starter Aaron Harang. Harang will arrive in Seattle tomorrow and throw a bullpen, and depending on how that goes, he could replace one of Seattle’s struggling bottom-of-the rotation pitchers. The Mariners are not, however, committing to putting Harang in the rotation right off the bat.
“We have starters, so the fact that he’s going to bump somebody is a little premature right now, but he is a starting pitcher,” said GM Jack Zduriencik. “If he is in good shape and his pitch count is where we think it needs to be and his bullpen’s successful, we’ll address it after that.”