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Notes: Crawford back from bereavement list

@gregjohnsmlb
September 16, 2020

Shortstop J.P. Crawford has been reinstated from the bereavement list and rejoined the Mariners for Wednesday night’s game against the Giants in San Francisco. Crawford missed the Mariners’ past five games following a death in his family. The 25-year-old has posted a .239/.339/.342 line with 27 runs scored and five

Shortstop J.P. Crawford has been reinstated from the bereavement list and rejoined the Mariners for Wednesday night’s game against the Giants in San Francisco.

Crawford missed the Mariners’ past five games following a death in his family. The 25-year-old has posted a .239/.339/.342 line with 27 runs scored and five stolen bases in 41 games while batting leadoff for much of the season for Seattle, which is still battling for the No. 2 playoff berth in the American League West with 12 games remaining.

Crawford was in California with his family until returning to Seattle on Tuesday, but had to pass his COVID-19 intake testing before being cleared to fly with the team back to San Francisco when the series was moved to the Bay Area.

“Fortunately for us, he was in there yesterday morning and got tested,” manager Scott Servais said after the team landed in San Francisco on Wednesday afternoon. “We got the results back very early this morning, so he was cleared to get on the plane with us and head here. We’re excited to have him back. He’s having a great season for us and I love having him back at shortstop.”

Crawford is tied for second with Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor in FanGraph’s defensive runs saved for AL shortstops, trailing only Houston’s Carlos Correa.

Rookie utility player Donovan Walton was optioned to the Mariners’ alternate training site to open a 28-man roster spot back up for Crawford. Walton played in four games in Crawford’s absence, going 2-for-10 with a double and three RBIs.

The 26-year-old Walton will remain with the Mariners as one of their three taxi squad players accompanying the team to San Francisco, along with right-handed reliever Art Warren and catcher Joe Hudson.

The Mariners shifted their two-game series with the Giants from Seattle to San Francisco on Wednesday and Thursday due to poor air quality at T-Mobile Park from the West Coast wildfires.

“If there was ever a year for this to happen, this was it, because nothing is normal,” Servais said. “It has been weird all year long.”

Mariners to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month is Sept. 15-Oct. 15 and the Mariners will commemorate the occasion this Saturday by spotlighting the contributions of Latino players on their social media platforms, including a video of Edgar Martinez talking about the impact Roberto Clemente -- a fellow Puerto Rican and Hall of Famer -- had on his career.

Posts will feature the hashtag #SomosMariners, which means “We Are Mariners.”

Prior to Saturday’s game against the Padres, Dee Strange-Gordon will be recognized in an on-field presentation as the Mariners’ 2020 Roberto Clemente Award nominee. Martinez and his family will make the virtual first pitch prior to the 6:10 p.m. PT game.

Cactus League schedule released

The 2021 Cactus League schedule was announced on Wednesday and the Mariners will open their spring slate on Saturday, Feb. 27, against the Padres at Peoria Stadium. The Mariners will play 33 Spring Training games, concluding on March 30 against the Rockies at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale before flying home to open the regular season April 1 against the Giants at T-Mobile Park.

The full spring schedule is available at Mariners.com/Spring. Start times, broadcast information and ticket information will be available at a later date.

Magill undergoes shoulder surgery

Reliever Matt Magill had arthroscopic debridement surgery on his right shoulder on Tuesday, with the procedure done by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles. The 30-year-old was placed on the injured list on Aug. 28 with a right shoulder strain. He made eight scoreless appearances to open the season, then struggled in his final three outings and finished with a 6.10 ERA in 10 1/3 innings.

Magill will begin rehabilitation immediately and is expected to be recovered in time to appear in Cactus League games next spring, though it’s not certain if that will be in time for the start of camp or not.

“The hope is he’ll be in Spring Training throwing and building arm strength off the mound at that time,” Servais said. “He tried to battle through it all year. Even from the original Spring Training, he didn’t look quite right. The velocity wasn’t the same.

“He took a different approach and was having success leaning heavily on the breaking balls, without the typical velocity we saw out of him last year when he was up to 95-96 mph. This year he was sitting in the 90-92 range. I give him a ton of credit for trying to battle through it, but it got to the point where it wasn’t working and even the breaking balls weren’t as sharp. Hopefully he’ll be back as good as ever here next spring.”

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.