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Gordon (toe) 'feeling better,' takes grounders

MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

SEATTLE -- Mariners second baseman Dee Gordon fielded ground balls and did some pregame infield work prior to Friday's series opener with the Twins and was moving well on the broken right big toe that landed him on the 10-day disabled list on Monday.

Gordon will be eligible to come off the DL on Thursday and manager Scott Servais remains optimistic that he'll be close to being ready at that time.

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SEATTLE -- Mariners second baseman Dee Gordon fielded ground balls and did some pregame infield work prior to Friday's series opener with the Twins and was moving well on the broken right big toe that landed him on the 10-day disabled list on Monday.

Gordon will be eligible to come off the DL on Thursday and manager Scott Servais remains optimistic that he'll be close to being ready at that time.

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"He's feeling a lot better," Servais said. "He's going to swing the bat a little in the cage or maybe on the field, too. He wanted to take some ground balls right at him. He won't do any hard running or anything for a few days. But he's feeling better."

Gordon has been wearing a walking boot the last four days to keep pressure off his right foot. The toe initially was hurt by a foul ball, then aggravated when Gordon attempted a diving catch of a bloop single in shallow right field in the 11th inning of Sunday's victory over the Tigers.

"It's calmed down, which is exactly what we were hoping would happen," Servais said. "We needed to give it some time. Originally I thought it would be only about 10 days. Everybody said I'm crazy. I still think it's going to be the 10-day period and you can still call me crazy, but I think that's what we're looking at."

Don't look for relievers starting for Seattle
While veteran Felix Hernandez has struggled in the first inning of many of his starts this season, Servais doesn't foresee the Mariners toying with the strategy Tampa Bay has employed recently of occasionally starting a reliever for an inning or two before bringing on their starter.

"It's not something I think would work for our club," Servais said. "I don't think it's a bad strategy in certain senses. It works for Tampa. I don't know their clubhouse or team as well as I know our team. I don't think it's the best thing for our team."

Servais thought that strategy would be difficult for any team with established Major League starters used to their own routine.

"They have young kids, they were struggling to find starting pitching, they're trying to get matchups," he said. "I get all that. It makes a ton of sense as far as the numbers and data and what's behind it and the lineups you're facing and all that other stuff. But more important, there is this thing called the human element and I think teams are all built differently."

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

Seattle Mariners, Dee Gordon