SEATTLE -- Mariners infielders Dee Gordon and Ryon Healy both fielded ground balls and did some early work on the field Thursday for the first time since going on the 10-day injured list last week, though neither is close to being able to return on Friday when they’re eligible to
SEATTLE -- Mariners infielders Dee Gordon and Ryon Healy both fielded ground balls and did some early work on the field Thursday for the first time since going on the 10-day injured list last week, though neither is close to being able to return on Friday when they’re eligible to be activated.
Gordon is still sporting a sizable bump on his right wrist from the deep bone bruise incurred when he was hit by a pitch on May 8 from Yankees starter J.A. Happ. He tried to play through that issue, but wound up going on the IL on May 21 to let the injury heal.
Healy went on the IL the same day with lower back stiffness, but he said Thursday that he’s finally feeling better.
“I took about 25 ground balls and it went well out there. I felt good. It did feel weird to throw again. I’m pretty loose and limber. That’s new for me,” Healy said with a laugh.
Gordon also reported positive progress and said he expects to be able to start swinging a bat in the next day or two, which will be the final test for both he and Healy before a decision is made on whether they’ll be activated or head out on Minor League rehab assignments.
Tuivailala working with Mariners trainers
Reliever Sam Tuivailala has been working with the Mariners' training staff the past few days to improve the range of motion in his right shoulder, and the club is waiting to determine the next step with the 26-year-old right-hander, whose 30-day Minor League rehab stint is now up after time with Class A Advanced Modesto and Triple-A Tacoma.
Rehab assignments can be extended if players agree to continue beyond the 30-day period for pitchers (or 20 days for position players), but manager Scott Servais said that no decision has been made yet with Tuivailala. The right-hander had surgery to repair a ruptured right Achilles tendon last August and has dealt with some decreased velocity in his past few outings with Tacoma.
“There’s no pain or getting an MRI or anything like that,” Servais said. “He can just tell the ball isn’t jumping out of his hand the way he’s used to. We saw it coming out pretty good when he was still in Modesto. The velo was up in the 94-95 range, which is kind of where he’s at when he’s right. He never really got there consistently, certainly his last time out in Tacoma. He’ll need a little more time.”
Fellow right-hander Gerson Bautista, who strained his right pectoral muscle during Spring Training, still has about a week left in his 30-day rehab stint and remains with Tacoma. He’s allowed five hits and two runs in four innings in three appearances with the Rainiers, after posting a 3.60 ERA with just one hit and four walks in five innings at Modesto.
• Veteran closer Hunter Strickland will throw a bullpen session on Sunday in his first time up on the mound since straining his right lat muscle in his third outing of the season on March 29. That’s a positive step in the 30-year-old’s progression as he aims toward a potential mid-to-late June return.
• Félix Hernández, who had a less-severe lat strain three weeks ago, threw long toss at about 120 feet on Thursday and is expected to advance to a bullpen session on Monday or Tuesday.
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.