Flew to Minneapolis from San Diego today and was greeted with a fierce Midwestern squall — for about 15 minutes. Now there are patches of blue sky, but there still is some rain in the forecast. Fingers crossed.
First, a bookkeeping issue. Infielder Robert Andino, who was designated for assignment to make room for Jesus Sucre on the 40-man roster on May 24, cleared waivers and accepted his outright assignment to Tacoma. He’ll join them on Saturday for the Rainiers’ game with Sacramento at Cheney Stadium.
Outfield Michael Morse, who stayed back in Seattle while the Mariners were in San Diego in order to rehab his strained quad, flew into Minneapolis today, too. He listed himself as “I guess day to day” and said he might be able to pinch-hit tonight — but not run the bases.
“I can hit, I can do everything,” he said. “I think the one thing I feel maybe is running. It’s just sore. It’s a little tight, but it’s not a pulled feeling anymore. If it was up to me, I’d give it one or two days more days and I’ll be fine.”
He said he watched the two games he missed on television from the Mariners clubhouse.
“It was weird because no one was in there,” he said. “I was doing some rehab stuff. Every time we started getting on a little roll, I didn’t move. That first game was frustrating, but yesterday was a nice game to watch.”
Also frustrating to Morse was the injury itself, which occurred while he was trying to score from first on a double by Saunders on Tuesday.
“To me, it’s such a fluke thing,” he said. “I felt so good. My legs, I’ve been taking good care of my legs, and I feel great in the outfield. I felt really good running, and especially right there I felt great. I just tried to push it a little too much. I compare it to driving a car and red-lining a car. You just don’t do that. I tried to run a little faster. But I’m not fast, so I don’t know what I was doing.”
Meanwhile, Justin Smoak, out for his sixth straight game with an oblique injury, continues to believe he’s close. But he’s not quite ready to cut loose at the plate, especially from the left side.
“I still haven’t done much left-handed,” he said. “I’m day by day with that; we’ll see how that goes. Right-handed felt a little better. I’m kind of scared to let it go right now. I’ve had it before, and I don’t want to overdo it.”
Smoak pinch-hit on Wednesday, flying out while hitting right-handed.
“It’s good enough to do that,” he said. “It feels fine, I can do whatever I want to do. Every once in awhile on a swing left-handed off a tee I’ll feel it a little bit. It’s one of those things where I don’t want to push it. They don’t want to push it, either. I’d rather be out a week than a month. Just trying to go day by day and see how it feels.”