SEATTLE — It’s only been 10 days, so it’s quite unlikely that Dee Gordon’s fractured toe is now fully healthy.
As Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais said recently, there’s no amount of two-percent milk Gordon could have been drinking in 10 days’ time that would have completely healed his bone that quickly.
The Mariners activated Gordon off the 10-day disabled list Thursday and reinserted him into the lineup for their 7:10 p.m. game against the Texas Rangers.
To make room, the Mariners optioned second baseman Gordon Beckham back to Triple-A Tacoma.
“It’s feeling better,” Gordon said Thursday. “The X-rays a few days ago came back really well. That Sunday (May 20) game it was fractured pretty good, but it’s coming back better and better with each day.”
Gordon apparently doesn’t need to be fully healed, just enough to be comfortable doing what he does — running at Mach speed down the basepaths and frequently ending the game with the dirtiest jersey on the team.
“Dee runs on jet fuel,” Servais said recently. “Some of our other guys run on unleaded. That’s just the way he’s wired.”
Gordon went 1-for-5 with a triple and scored a run in the Mariners’ 6-1 win Thursday.
And this gives the Mariners some semblance of normalcy at the top of their order again. Jean Segura moved back down to No. 2 in the lineup, and he missed two games earlier this week with a head injury.
Gordon will wear a guard over his foot to protect the toe, and still had a walking boot on the carpet in front of his clubhouse locker. He said he felt the most pain when he took ground balls on the infield dirt.
“Shuffling on the infield started hurting a lot,” Gordon said. “But I haven’t had any of those types of problems the past few days.”
Servais said Gordon ran drills on Wednesday at about 90 percent.
“Dee Gordon at 90 percent is faster than a lot of guys in this league,” Servais said. “I think he’ll be just fine and there shouldn’t be any limitations on him stealing bases or anything else.”
Gordon, despite being out since May 20, still leads the American League in stolen bases (16) and is second in the majors behind the Braves’ Ender Inciarte (18).
Gordon, who moved back to his Gold Glove position of second base after beginning the season in center field, is batting .304. He first injured the toe when he fouled a pitch off it in Toronto, causing him to miss the Mariners’ May 10 game against the Blue Jays. Since, Gordon is 7-for-40 (.175) at the plate. He was hitting .340 before the foul ball.
“I just wanted to give it some time,” Gordon said. “I went hard on it for two weeks even though I shouldn’t have been playing on it. Just tried to let it calm down and now I got to go out there and get my timing back down.”
Beckham was the tough move.
He had an RBI single in Thursday’s 7-6 loss to the Texas Rangers and had started to get in a rhythm at the plate after being “geeked up” as he said when he first was selected from the Rainiers.
The 31-year-old still had minor league options, means he won’t have to clear waivers after being sent down. But because he has more than five years of MLB service time, he could decline reporting to Tacoma and become a free agent.
“Hopefully Gordon Beckham stays in the organization,” Servais said. “Gordon did a nice job coming in here. It’s tough to send the guy down. It was tough to send him down at the end of spring training. I thought he really swung the bat well, the past couple of days particularly. I just thought the added flexibility — (Andrew) Romine just has a little bit more experience at all of the positions. Somebody tweaks an ankle at first base or the outfield or wherever, Romie just has more experience there. But we certainly feel comfortable calling (Beckham) back up if we need to.”