Healy continuing to contribute under new role

September 1st, 2018

OAKLAND -- When returned to the Mariners from his 80-game suspension two weeks ago, the assumption was that first baseman would lose the majority of playing time to fit the eight-time All-Star's bat back into the lineup.

But while Healy has seen his time reduced, he's continued to play in the majority of games and has actually heated up at the plate during that time. Healy went 2-for-4 with a home run in Friday's 7-5 loss to the A's and is batting .359 with two homers and six RBIs in 39 at-bats while playing in 11 of the 15 games since Cano's return.

Healy has actually been more productive than Cano, who also homered on Friday night and has hit .277 with two homers and seven RBIs in 65 at-bats while playing all 15 games since his suspension ended on Aug. 14.

A variety of circumstances have allowed Healy to continue getting fairly regular action, with shortstop 's three days on paternity leave and now missing two starts with a bruised shin, allowing Cano to shift back to second and Dee Gordon to play at shortstop. Manager Scott Servais has also started Cano once at third base and once at designated hitter, which leaves first base open for Healy.

It's not the same as knowing he'll be playing first base every day, but the 26-year-old Healy is adapting.

"Honestly I think I'm still trying to figure that out," he said. "I'm trying to get a comfortable routine, making sure I'm getting plenty of reps in the batting cage, trying to see some velocity and spin off the machine, just keeping my eyes and timing sharp so when I get in the game, I'm ready."

What Healy won't do is complain. His 24 home runs and 65 RBIs have helped the Mariners this year, but he's not in position -- nor of the mindset -- to ask for anything more than the chance to contribute any way possible.

"I really think at this point, our minds and focus are on the bigger picture," he said. "It would be really selfish for me to sit back and worry about what Ryon needs to do and this and that. Right now we're really focused on the team and winning and understanding what it takes to be prepared every single day. Whether I'm in the starting lineup or not, I need to help the team find a way to win the ballgame."

Segura sidelined for second day

Segura was out of the lineup for a second straight game Friday with a bruised left shin after taking a foul ball off his leg in the sixth inning of Wednesday's loss in San Diego.

Segura took one ground ball in pregame work on Thursday and indicated the leg was too sore to play. Servais took that decision out of his hands on Friday, going with Gordon at shortstop.

"Jean's still sore," Servais said. "He's feeling better, but he has a pretty deep bone bruise on his shin and we want to make sure he feels 100 percent or close to it before he gets out there. He might be available late in the game. We'll see."

Still no timetable on Gonzales' return

played catch Friday for a third straight day, but Servais said there's no word yet on when the lefty might rejoin the rotation after landing on the 10-day disabled list Monday with a strained cervical muscle in his neck.

Gonzales is eligible to come off the DL on Tuesday when the club is back home against the Orioles, but that would require the 26-year-old to be able to advance to throwing off the mound in a bullpen session this weekend.

"He's got to feel good about where he's at to get out on the mound and throw a bullpen," Servais said. "When he gets to that point, we'll see if we can pencil him back into the rotation. He was so good for us for a big chunk of the season. A guy you gave the ball to and felt really good about him keeping you in the ballgame for 6-7 innings. We miss him and hopefully we can get him back in there."

September callups on the way

The Mariners will add some September callups from Triple-A Tacoma on Saturday, with most of the initial help expected to come in the bullpen. , Mike Morin, and are likely candidates, though Grimm and Morin would have to be added to the 40-man roster.

From that group, all but Grimm have already been with Seattle earlier this year. Grimm is a 30-year-old right-hander with seven seasons in the Majors, including five with the Cubs. He's posted a 1.64 ERA in 11 innings over 10 outings with Tacoma since signing a Minor League deal in mid-July.

is almost certain to return as well to provide a third catcher and the club just acquired utility man in a cash trade from the D-backs, which would indicate some interest in adding the 32-year-old as well for the stretch run.

Servais said more players will be added after Tacoma's season ends on Monday and Seattle will likely will also bring up reliever Matt Festa and possibly from Double-A Arkansas once the Texas League playoffs end.

Worth noting

Veteran right-hander threw two scoreless innings with no hits, one walk and two strikeouts in his second rehab outing Friday with Class A Everett. Iwakuma threw 20 pitches as he attempts to return from shoulder surgery that has sidelined him the past year.