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Cano flashes leather in first MLB start at 3B

August 22, 2018

SEATTLE -- In Robinson Cano's first Major League game at third base, Tyler White smacked a ball to the hot corner at 105.1 mph per Statcast™.Cano backhanded the ball cleanly, spun around and delivered one of his signature sidearm throws -- this time across the diamond -- in the Mariners'

SEATTLE -- In Robinson Cano's first Major League game at third base, Tyler White smacked a ball to the hot corner at 105.1 mph per Statcast™.
Cano backhanded the ball cleanly, spun around and delivered one of his signature sidearm throws -- this time across the diamond -- in the Mariners' 10-7 loss to the Astros on Wednesday at Safeco Field.
"It feels weird; I haven't played there in a long time," Cano said. "You just react. Third base is more about reaction, because when they hit it so hard, there's nothing else you can do. You just gotta be ready for every pitch."
The career second baseman has been moving around the diamond for the Mariners since returning from an 80-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's drug policy. He started at third base for the first time before moving to second in the eighth inning.
Entering Wednesday, Cano had appeared in three games at first base, four at second and one as the designated hitter since rejoining the team. Cano played third base for one game during his recent rehab assignment, starting at the hot corner for Class A Short-Season Everett on Aug. 11.
"I thought he handled [third base] well," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "A couple easy plays and a tough one he made look easy, the backhand ball that was hit down the line. Made a really nice play on that. Robbie's a talented player, he's got good hands. I thought he handled it really well."

While the question of whether Cano would ever play at third has been answered, Servais' plan for the rotation going forward remains an uncertainty. Erasmo Ramirez will start Friday's series opener versus the D-backs, but Saturday and Sunday are still unknown, Servais said.
The Mariners have used eight starting pitchers in their past eight games. That stretch began when James Paxton landed on the disabled list after a comebacker struck him on the forearm last Wednesday. Servais said Paxton is set to throw a bullpen session in Arizona on Friday and will not make his return against the D-backs.
"It might not be a big benefit for us to have Paxton hit in a National League game," Servais said. "That's the thought, probably wait until the week."

Marco Gonzales had a start pushed from Sunday to Wednesday to provide him with extra rest down the stretch, and Mike Leake was scratched from Tuesday's start due to illness. The two bullpen days plus an off day Thursday give Servais plenty of options for how to set his rotation going forward.
"A lot of it depends on where Mike Leake slips back into the rotation," Servais said. "Mike Leake is really skinny to begin with, and he looks a little skinnier today, so I don't think he's been able to eat a lot and his strength's not there."
Detwiler DFA'd
After pitching six innings of relief in Tuesday's 3-2 loss to the Astros, the Mariners designated veteran left-hander Ross Detwiler for assignment on Wednesday as the club recalled right-hander Nick Rumbelow from Triple-A Tacoma to keep a fresh arm in the bullpen.
"Detwiler was not going to pitch for us today," Servais said. "Rumbelow will give us a little bit of length in the 'pen, give us a couple innings if we need it. The bullpen's starting to get in a little bit better shape just because Detwiler was able to go as deep as he was last night."
When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Within seven days of the transaction (it was previously 10 days), the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.
The 32-year-old right-hander was an emergency fill-in Tuesday after Leake was scratched with an illness about 3 1/2 hours before he was scheduled to face the Astros. Detwiler caught an Uber from Tacoma to Safeco Field and pitched fairly well in his first Major League appearance since 2016, allowing eight hits and three runs over his six frames while taking advantage of five double-play grounders.
Rumbelow will be making his fourth stint with Seattle this season, having pitched in eight games out of the bullpen with an 7.84 ERA in 10 1/3 innings. The 26-year-old right-hander was 1-0 with two saves, a 2.04 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 17 2/3 innings in 13 outings with Tacoma after missing most of Spring Training and the start of the regular season with a nerve issue in his neck.
By designating Detwiler for assignment, the Mariners now have 39 players on their 40-man roster. Tacoma infielder Zach Vincej was DFA'd on Tuesday to open a spot for Detwiler.

David Gottlieb covers the Mariners for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DGottliebMLB.