SEATTLE -- Dee Gordon covers a lot of ground in the outfield for the Mariners, but the club is going to take caution not to run its new prized leadoff hitter into that ground in the process.
The Mariners were using Statcast™ data to research exactly how much Gordon runs in a game. And the 30-year-old speedster said Saturday that he's been told he'll jog an extra 51 miles this season merely going back and forth from the dugout to his center-field spot every inning.
More to the point, Gordon hits full-out sprint speed as much or more than any player in the game, running the bases, chasing balls in the gaps. He led the Majors in stolen bases with 14 going into Saturday's games and was tied for second in hits.
Gordon acknowledged that throwing his body around in the outfield is an adjustment after a career as a middle infielder.
"Yeah, it's harder," he said. "That's part of it. I'll get used to it. By next year I'll be all right. I'll know more what I need to do in the offseason. I have to take care of my prize possession, which is my legs. I'm not hitting any homers."
Gordon didn't start Saturday's game against the Angels for that reason, the first time he's been held out of the lineup in the first 31 games. Gordon played a career-high 158 games last year as a second baseman for the Marlins, with 148 starts.
"He plays at such a high level and uses so much energy when he plays, we just need to be cognizant," manager Scott Servais said. "Dee runs on jet fuel, some of our other guys run on unleaded. That's just the way he's wired. It's something we'll do now and then to make sure he stays fresh.
"We're trying to play for the long run here, and he's a big part of what we're doing."
Gordon said the other adjustment he's making is getting used to the larger outfield glove as well as the challenge of line drives coming straight at him in center.
"It's weird stuff that happens in a game that I've never seen," he said. "Things some dudes learned in Little League. Like I just learned last night, people say that ball caught a seam. I never knew what that meant. It's where the ball stops going the way it's supposed to and shoots the other way."
Gordon's discovery came on a scorched Michael Trout liner that turned into a triple when Gordon couldn't close the glove on the ball at the last second.
"I did everything right, got to the spot and then it just went, 'schoop' and shot that way," Gordon said. "It's just a learning curve. The good thing is when something happens in a game, I find a way to get better. In spring, guys were just popping the ball up and I just ran and caught it. There wasn't anything crazy. Now that they're conditioned, there's weird slices and all kinds of crazy."
Altavilla headed to Arkansas
Reliever Dan Altavilla, who is on the 10-day disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder, felt no issues during a flat-ground throwing session at 120 feet Saturday and now will report to Double-A Arkansas to begin a quick rehab stint.
The 25-year-old said he'll throw a bullpen at Arkansas, take a day off and then pitch an inning in a pair of games over a three-day stretch. If all goes well, he could rejoin the Mariners toward the end of their upcoming road trip next week in Detroit.
• Veteran right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma is slated to throw a bullpen session Monday in Peoria, Ariz., as he returns from a brief setback in his throwing program while working back from September shoulder surgery.