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June 12, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Thursday’s pregame notes and line-ups vs. the Yankees

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Update 3:51 p.m.

The roster move is official. Jesus Montero has been called up take Michael Saunders’ spot on the roster.

His role?

“He’ll play against left-handers and hopefully gives us a little added punch against left-handers,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “He’ll most likely DH.”

Any chance he plays some first base?

“There’s a chance,” McClendon said. “I would doubt it. But there’s an outside chance.”

When asked why Montero was called up over others?

McClendon replied, “He was the best choice.”

It was mentioned about that Montero has hit one homer in his last 79 games and has struggled of late.

McClendon deadpanned: “Sounds like he should hit fourth.”

Like many people, McClendon believes that Montero has some talent.

“I think he’s trying to get things back together,” McClendon said. “He’s been working hard. He’s actually been swinging the bat better than the numbers indicate. For me, he was the logical choice. We’ve got a 15-day DL, he’s on the roster and it just made sense to bring this young man up and give him an opportunity.”

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Montero flew out from Memphis early this morning.

“It’s a long day for me,” he said. “It was a long flight, but I’m happy to be here. I’m happy to be back on the team. They told me last night and gave me that great news. I called my wife. I called my family. They were all excited.

Montero said he’s focused on his cardio and his conditioning since spring training.

“I try to do my routine every single day,” he said. “They want me to do a lot of stuff with first base. I think that’s helped me.”

Montero asked how he felt he was playing. Were his numbers not a reflection of his hitting?

“It’s tough,” he said. “It’s AAA. There’s a lot of veteran guys down there pitching. Sometimes it’s a little tough. Sometimes you have a good couple games. I feel great to be here. I feel like I’ve earned it. I feel like I learned something. Now I want to be here forever.”


*** Michael Saunders re-aggravated the shoulder injury with some swings and misses in Tuesday night’s losses. It was noticeable on inside pitches where he was tied up and also on low and away pitches.

“It needs rest, and it’s unfortunate that he’s going to have to go on the DL to do that,” McClendon said. “I don’t expect it to be more than five or six days, but I don’t think we are the type of club that can play short for five or six days.”

The hope is after five or six days, the shoulder will be better and Saunders can go to Tacoma on a rehab stint to get some at-bats.

*** James Paxton will play catch from 60 feet for 10 minutes on Friday. There has been no timetable set for his return to the mound.

 Draft signings …

The Mariners announced that they signed a pair of local draftees. Lefty Nick Kiel out of Bellevue College, an Everett native, and infielder Taylor Smart, who is from Maple Valley and played at University of Tennessee. Third-round pick Austin Cousino also signed yesterday. Here’s the list of draftees. Players who have signed are in bold.

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From earlier …. 

As you can see, the Yankees line-up isn’t up yet. I will post when it comes out.

Jesus Montero is not in the line-up. I’m not sure if he’s even arrived at Safeco yet. That’s a reason why the roster move hasn’t been announced. They usually wait till the player arrived on premises. Getting from Memphis to Sea-Tac is going to involve more than one airport.

This will be the first time the Mariners have faced Chase Whitley. There might a few guys that have faced him in the minor leagues.

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