PHOTO CAPTION: That’s 6-foot-4, 285-pound Luis Jimenez showing off his prowess at first base. Jimenez got his first MLB at-bat in last night’s ninth inning after being signed by Oakland 13 years ago out of Venezuela.
We’re now told that Friday could be the day the Mariners get both Michael Saunders and Franklin Gutierrez off their sore groins and back into the lineup. Saunders went through a bunch of pre-game conditioning drills and told me the plan is to have him penciled into the lineup on Friday.
“You never really know what it’s going to be like until you get back into a game,” said Saunders, who intitially sat out a week after his injury, then tried to come back last Friday but was pulled four innings in after he felt something making an outfield catch. “I did everything I was supposed to. As soon as I felt it, I told the trainers and they took me out of the game.”
Saunders said the issue is all about being able to start and stop suddenly. The drills he ran today were geared towards that. He also ran the bases and did OK. If there wasn’t an off-day tomorrow, he might have played tonight. But the team figures that, this way, he can get a little bit of extra rest.
Same with Franklin Gutierrez, who isn’t expected to do much in the way of drills today. The team will give him 48 hours and then, hopefully, he’ll be ready to go again on Friday.
13 Dustin Ackley (L) 2B
12 Trayvon Robinson (S) LF
15 Kyle Seager (L) 3B
27 John Jaso (L) C
63 Jesus Montero DH
10 Eric Thames (L) RF
20 Mike Carp (L) 1B
33 Casper Wells CF
26 Brendan Ryan SS
25 Kevin Millwood RHP