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Gordon returning to second base on Friday

After 39 games in center, speedster will fill void left by Cano
MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

SEATTLE -- After playing 39 games at center field, Dee Gordon will be shifting back to second base starting Friday for the Mariners. And the 30-year-old speedster said he's ready to make the switch, though noting he's finally felt more comfortable in center field over the past week.

With Robinson Cano suspended for 80 games, Gordon took ground balls for a third straight day at second base prior to Thursday's series opener with the Tigers, and manager Scott Servais had him at designated hitter in the game in order to allow him to transition back to his old spot.

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SEATTLE -- After playing 39 games at center field, Dee Gordon will be shifting back to second base starting Friday for the Mariners. And the 30-year-old speedster said he's ready to make the switch, though noting he's finally felt more comfortable in center field over the past week.

With Robinson Cano suspended for 80 games, Gordon took ground balls for a third straight day at second base prior to Thursday's series opener with the Tigers, and manager Scott Servais had him at designated hitter in the game in order to allow him to transition back to his old spot.

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Gordon won a Gold Glove at second base for Miami in 2015 and was a two-time National League All-Star at that position, but he cautions that it still will take some time to regain his feel for the infield.

"It's just a few little things I need to get cleaned up," he said. "I hadn't taken a ground ball since December. I'm not going to be perfect out there. Like I said when I went to center, I'm trying to learn a position in the big leagues. Now, I'm going back to another position in the big leagues. But I'll take care of it and try to help us win ballgames."

Servais said it's a luxury having such a versatile athlete available to fill in at second while Cano is sidelined.

"He's been an All-Star and won a Gold Glove. I don't know where you're going to do better than that," Servais said. "We just happen to have him on our roster and we'll take advantage of that. Dee is excited about it and ready to go."

Gordon came up as a second baseman with the Dodgers and started 149 games at shortstop and then 502 games at second during his first seven seasons in the Majors before moving to center field this year.

Guillermo Heredia, who has been platooning with Ben Gamel in left field, will now get most of the time in center field.

Cruz still sidelined by sore foot

Designated hitter Nelson Cruz sat out his second straight game with a bruised right foot on Thursday, but is hopeful he could be back in the lineup Friday against the Tigers.

Video: TEX@SEA: Cruz gets hit in the foot, exits in 4th

Cruz was hit on the top of the foot by a pitch on Tuesday against Texas and had to come out of that game in the fourth inning.

"I feel better today," Cruz said prior to Thursday's series opener with the Tigers. "It still feels a little tight when I've got the shoes on. But I'll try to hit and work out. The goal is to play [Friday]."

Servais is eager to have his big DH back, but remains cautious.

"We want to be smart about it," Servais said. "We certainly need him in the middle of our lineup. He means a lot. Hopefully, he's back tomorrow. If not, the day after."

Worth noting

• Cano had surgery in Philadelphia to repair the broken fifth metacarpal on his right hand and now will begin rehabbing in Seattle. He can use the Mariners facility, but can't be with the team or in the clubhouse during its pregame work or games during his suspension.

• Broadcaster Dave Sims was back at work Thursday after missing nearly five weeks following surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles' tendon. Sims will work during home games for now, but won't be able to travel with the team until its East Coast road trip next month.

• The Mariners are taking a different approach on their ROOT Sports television broadcast Friday when they'll go with no play-by-play announcer and instead let former players Mike Blowers, Dan Wilson and Ryan Rowland-Smith conduct a more conversational broadcast as they talk about the game.

"What would it be like to eavesdrop on the conversations that take place on the top step of the dugout? Mike, Dan and Ryan will share their views on the game from the perspective of someone who's been there," said Kevin Martinez, the Mariners senior vice president of marketing and communications. "The PlayersCast format will allow for a deeper baseball discussion while having some fun along the way."

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

Seattle Mariners, Dee Gordon