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Dee-lightful: Gordon provides defensive gem

MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- It's been quite a week for new Mariners center fielder Dee Gordon, who racked up his second outfield assist in four days by nailing the Reds' Mason Williams trying to score on a bases-loaded flyout by Devin Mesoraco in the third inning of Saturday's 5-2 win.

Gordon provided unexpected pop with a pair of home runs on Friday against the Giants, but the Mariners are more interested in his defensive transition to the outfield. Gordon has been outstanding there early, as he also threw out Mark Canha of the A's at third base on Thursday.

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GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- It's been quite a week for new Mariners center fielder Dee Gordon, who racked up his second outfield assist in four days by nailing the Reds' Mason Williams trying to score on a bases-loaded flyout by Devin Mesoraco in the third inning of Saturday's 5-2 win.

Gordon provided unexpected pop with a pair of home runs on Friday against the Giants, but the Mariners are more interested in his defensive transition to the outfield. Gordon has been outstanding there early, as he also threw out Mark Canha of the A's at third base on Thursday.

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"He's really fun to watch," manager Scott Servais said. "Obviously, he's comfortable with the jumps, and what we've seen out of the arm here the last few days has been awesome. He brings a lot of excitement. He makes the throw, he puts the gun back in the holster. He's got all the antics, which is fun. His teammates feed off it and the energy he brings every day has been great."

The two-time National League All-Star second baseman has only been in center field for 10 games now this spring, but Gordon is hitting .385 (10-for-26) after going 1-for-3 with a stolen base on Saturday, and has passed every test in the field.

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"He's getting a lot of different plays," Servais said. "He ran the ball down in right-center early in the game, his routes are good, the speed speaks for itself. He's going to be just fine out there."

Ichiro to debut Sunday?
Servais said it's "not set in stone yet," but there is a good chance Ichiro Suzuki makes his spring debut on Sunday when the Mariners host the Reds. Servais wanted to see Ichiro's third workout with the team on Saturday before making any firm decision, but Ichiro has said he'd like to play by Sunday as well.

Servais' initial impressions of the 44-year-old have been positive.

"You know who he looks like?" Servais said. "He looks like Ichiro. He's anxious to get going and get comfortable, face some live pitching. It's been great. I had a chance to sit down with him for about 10 minutes yesterday and just talk.

"As much as you see a guy play for a long time, you don't really know everything that has been asked of him over the years. You wouldn't think there's a lot on the baseball field he's never done before, but for me, never having managed him before, it was good. Just back and forth, joking with him about my Japanese, it was all good."

Video: Servais discusses Ichiro's role with the Mariners

How is his Japanese?

"Not good," Servais said.

Injury update
Erasmo Ramirez played catch on Saturday for the first time since being shut down three weeks ago and Servais believes there's a chance the right-hander could be ready to slide into the rotation by the time the club needs a fifth starter in mid-April.

"I still remember how to pitch," Ramirez said with a smile. "I'll get ready as quick as I can."

Video: KC@SEA: Healy talks injury, previews 2018 season

• First baseman Ryon Healy hit off a tee for the first time as he continues returning from surgery to remove a bone spur on his right hand. Healy could be ready close to Opening Day, but if the Mariners only need four starting pitchers for the first two weeks, they could also keep Daniel Vogelbach on the initial roster.

• Reliever Nick Vincent came out of Friday's live batting practice with no issues and likely will see his first Cactus League action early next week after dealing with a sore arm early in camp.

Nelson Cruz wasn't feeling well on Saturday and he was sent home prior to the afternoon workout. He was also scratched from Saturday's lineup. It was the second time this spring the veteran designated hitter has missed time due to illness.

Up next
Watch live on MLB.TV or MLB Network as right-hander Mike Leake makes his fourth spring start -- he is slated for about five innings -- when the Mariners host the Reds at 1:10 p.m. PT on Sunday at Peoria Stadium. David Phelps, Mike Morin, Casey Lawrence and Chasen Bradford are among the Seattle relievers slated for work.

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

Seattle Mariners, Dee Gordon, Ryon Healy, Mike Leake, James Paxton, Erasmo Ramirez