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August 31, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Michael Saunders back in lineup for Mariners after missing week with groin strain

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First off, before I get into any pre-game stuff, there’s a report out there by Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that says Felix Hernandez was put on waivers and claimed, same as Jason Vargas. Absolutely nothing to worry about, as I said on the radio during my Talkin’ Baseball segment yesterday on Sports Radio KJR.
Teams do this all the time. The Mariners just have to pull Hernandez and Vargas back and nothing further happens. Teams put all types of players through waivers this time of year to gauge the level of interest other clubs might have ahead of the off-season.
I dont think the Mariners would risk trading Hernandez at this point. But hey, you never know. If some team offered up seven premium players for him, you’d have to do it, right? Or, at least seriously consider it. That’s just due dilligence.
As for tonight, the Mariners play the Angels in a pretty important series for Los Angeles but also for Seattle as well. The M’s would like to show folks that this second half run is for real and continuing to play tough against some better teams will help establish that.
Michael Saunders told me as much earlier today when I spoke to him. Saunders is in the lineup for the first time since injuring his groin when he and Eric Thames collided in the outfield during that crucial ninth-inning play in Chicago a week ago tonight.
“It was to the point where it wasn’t injured, but it was certainly at a level where we needed to take some steps back,” Saunders said. “It was more about being able to chase down balls in the outfield. They wanted to make sure I didn’t push it and come back too soon since they want me out there for all of September.”
Saunders appeared to be getting his power stroke back at the plate before he went down. He’d been scuffling along for a good part of the second-half prior to that and agreed that the month ahead will be big.
“Not just for myself,” he said. “But for this entire team, this organization as well. We’re not just playing for .500, we’re trying to show we’re better than a .500 team and that’s a lot to be playing for. This is going to be a very important month ahead for all of us. If we can keep playing well, keep pushing ahead and getting closer to the teams ahead of us, even if we don’t make the playoffs I think we’ll be a lot happier going into next year.”


The lineups:
Angels (69-62)
——————————–
27 Mike Trout CF
48 Torii Hunter RF
5 Albert Pujols DH
8 Kendrys Morales (S) 1B
44 Mark Trumbo LF
2 Erick Aybar (S) SS
6 Alberto Callaspo (S) 3B
13 Maicer Izturis (S) 2B
46 Bobby Wilson C
——————————–
24 Dan Haren RHP
Mariners (64-68)
——————————–
13 Dustin Ackley (L) 2B
21 Franklin Gutierrez CF
15 Kyle Seager (L) 3B
27 John Jaso (L) DH
63 Jesus Montero C
55 Michael Saunders (L) RF
17 Justin Smoak (S) 1B
12 Trayvon Robinson (S) LF
26 Brendan Ryan SS
——————————–
25 Kevin Millwood RHP

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Dustin Ackley, Jesus Montero

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