Ibanez out for a month

  • Friday, June 4, 2004 9:00pm
  • Sports

Not only was the medical report on left fielder Raul Ibanez’s injured hamstring as bad as Mariners manager Bob Melvin feared, it was worse.

Ibanez went on the 15-day disabled list Friday, but he is expected to miss at least a month.

“If it’s two to three weeks to get him healthy, obviously you have to play him a little (on a minor league rehab) after that,” Melvin said. “A good round figure is a month. I had a feeling it was going to be like that.”

Ibanez suffered a Grade 2 strain of his right hamstring as he sprinted to first base on a bunt single in the second inning of Wednesday’s game against Toronto.

He’s trying his best to make something positive from a difficult injury.

“Emotionally, not good,” Ibanez said Friday after being asked how he felt. “But I’m going to see to it that I get myself better physically and use it as a time of reflection and make myself a better player. I’m going to turn a negative into a positive.

TODAY’S GAME

Opponent: Chicago White Sox

When: 1:05 p.m.

Where: Safeco Field

TV: KCPQ (channel 13)

Radio: KOMO (1000 AM)

Pitchers: Seattle right-hander Ryan Franklin (2-4, 4.84) vs. left-hander Scott Schoeneweis (5-2, 3.64).

“I’ll grow out of this.”

The Mariners replaced Ibanez by calling up infielder Ramon Santiago from Class AAA Tacoma. Jolbert Cabrera started in left field Friday, and Hiram Bocachica and Willie Bloomquist also are likely to see time there until Ibanez returns.

Ibanez was hitting .268 and leads the Mariners with 11 home runs. Cabrera, Bocachica and Bloomquist haven’t hit a home run this season.

Why not Strong? By the numbers, outfielder Jamal Strong would seem a more fitting choice to bring up from Tacoma. He went into the weekend batting .331 while Santiago’s average was .165.

The Mariners decided Strong needed to remain in Tacoma and play every day instead of sitting on the bench in Seattle.

“Unless Jamal comes up here and plays every day, it just doesn’t make any sense to do that to a kid who we’re still trying to develop,” Melvin said.

Strong missed almost half of last season because of a shoulder injury and the M’s believe he needs to play a full season this year.

“He’s coming along nicely and, who knows, down the road he’s definitely a guy we’ll look at to play every day,” Melvin said. “But to bring him up and not play him is not the right thing for him.”

Nageotte to start: Rookie right-hander Clint Nageotte will start Monday night’s game against the Houston Astros in the rotation slot formerly occupied by Gil Meche.

Melvin said Nageotte is the best option, instead of moving left-hander Ron Villone out of the bullpen or calling up lefty Travis Blackley from Tacoma, because the Astros’ lineup is dominated by right-handed hitters.

Nageotte allowed four runs on four hits and four walks in four innings on Tuesday after Meche lasted just two innings. Melvin is confident Nageotte will recover from that rough debut.

“He’s here, he’s already got some experience and it (Houston) is a predominately right-handed-hitting team,” Melvin said. “I think he deserves a shot.”

When Nageotte starts, it will break the Mariners’ year-plus streak of using the same five starters since the beginning of last season. Last year, the M’s became the first team since the 1966 Los Angeles Dodgers to do it.

Bowling for charity: Jamie Moyer’s fifth annual charity bowling tournament is tonight at Brunswick Majestic Lanes in Lynnwood. The tournament, from 6 to 10 p.m., will feature several Mariners players and include a silent auction to benefit the Moyer Foundation, Child Life at Children’s Hospital and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. The event is not open to the public and only participants who reserved lanes in advance will be admitted.

Soriano needs more time: An MRI showed that injured pitcher Rafael Soriano will need at least three more weeks before he can throw a baseball.

Soriano went on the disabled list May 12 because of a sprained right elbow and he continued to feel discomfort during therapy. He had the latest MRI on Thursday.

Kirby Arnold, Herald Writer

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