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Dyson not quite ready to return from DL

Mariners speedster to further test strained right groin
MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

NEW YORK -- Jarrod Dyson was eligible to come off the 10-day disabled list on Sunday, but the Mariners speedster's strained right groin muscle isn't quite ready yet. He'll test it further in Baltimore on Monday as Seattle nears the end of its East Coast road trip.

The return of Robinson Cano (aka "Don't You Know" for Players Weekend) to the lineup on Sunday at second base against the Yankees takes some of the pressure off pushing Dyson's return, as that allows utility man Taylor Motter to be available as a backup outfielder to the starting trio of Ben Gamel, Guillermo Heredia and Mitch Haniger.

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NEW YORK -- Jarrod Dyson was eligible to come off the 10-day disabled list on Sunday, but the Mariners speedster's strained right groin muscle isn't quite ready yet. He'll test it further in Baltimore on Monday as Seattle nears the end of its East Coast road trip.

The return of Robinson Cano (aka "Don't You Know" for Players Weekend) to the lineup on Sunday at second base against the Yankees takes some of the pressure off pushing Dyson's return, as that allows utility man Taylor Motter to be available as a backup outfielder to the starting trio of Ben Gamel, Guillermo Heredia and Mitch Haniger.

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Cano had missed the two previous starts because of a sore left hamstring, with Motter taking his place. The club also can use Danny Valencia in right field if needed, with Yonder Alonso now handling first-base duties against right-handed starters. The Orioles will start three right-handers in the upcoming series.

"Danny plays into that mix now," manager Scott Servais said. "We can run him out there late in a game if we have to. Certainly Motter has played plenty of outfield. I look at those guys a little differently now than before, when we had Dyson and the three other guys. We're fine. I'm not concerned with that. Putting Cano back in the field gives us more flexibility off the bench and what we can do defensively."

The Mariners thus could wait until returning home on Friday to activate Dyson in order to allow him to get up to full speed, since rosters can be expanded that day with September callups. That would allow Dyson to be added back to the Major League roster without having to send someone else down.

"We'll see where he's at in Baltimore," Servais said. "For him, the legs are his game. So putting him out there at 80 percent is not the same as putting Nelson [Cruz] or Robbie out there at 80 percent. He needs to be better than that. He'll probably pick up the intensity once he gets out on the field [Monday] in Baltimore."

Dyson -- who is hitting .255, leads the club with 28 stolen bases and tops the American League with 11 outfield assists -- said he was feeling better, but he hadn't pushed the sore leg much since Friday, when he shagged some balls in the outfield and took batting practice.

"I'm giving it a breather today," Dyson said prior to Sunday's game. "I'm just baby-stepping. But it's getting better. I haven't shagged hard, so I want to test that, too. If I can run down some fly balls, I should be good to go."

Worth noting
• Injured starters James Paxton (strained left pectoral muscle) and Felix Hernandez (bursitis in right shoulder) were scheduled to play catch again on Sunday at Safeco Field after getting Saturday off to receive treatment, but neither is ready to throw off a mound in a bullpen session, and they are likely several weeks from returning.

"Felix has played catch a day or two more than Pax. He may be a little ahead of him," Servais said. "We'll know more when we get back home."

• Reliever Evan Scribner, who has been on the 60-day DL since April 29 with a flexor bundle strain in his right elbow, threw his first Minor League rehab outing with the Mariners' Rookie-level Arizona team on Saturday, allowing one hit in a scoreless inning.

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

Seattle Mariners, Jarrod Dyson