It’s a much needed off day for Michael Saunders, who has started every single game – 15 straight – since he came off disabled list. The last few games he’s struggled a little at the plate – going 2 for 19, including 0-for-10 in the last two games. While Saunders wants to play every day, getting a break is a good thing.
“It’s time,” Wedge said. “The guy brings so much energy to the top our line-up and the top of the order. But this is a good day off for him. I already told him not to do anything until the middle the game and be ready for us late. But I’m sure I will have to monitor the hall way and make sure he doesn’t slide by me.”
Wedge doesn’t think Saunders is pressing.
“I just think he’s a little bit worn down,” Wedge said. “You play him that much I think that’s what it is.”
Michael Morse is back in the line-up today after being scratched with eye irritation yesterday. Morse said he scratched his eye while putting in his contact lenses yesterday before the game. His vision was blurry in the eye and it didn’t go away. It’s a reason why Wedge didn’t use him as a pinch hitter late in the game.
“It’s better today,” Wedge said.
Franklin Gutierrez went 1-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts in his second rehab game with the Rainiers. Gutierrez was scheduled to start in right field, but was moved to DH because of the wet field conditions. You can expect to see Gutierrez playing some right field for the Rainiers during this rehab stint.
“We want him to play some right field as well center field for a couple of reasons,” Wedge said. “One, I think it’s easier to stay healthy if you are playing left field or right field vs. playing in center field. Two, Saunders has been great in center field. And three, if he’s not 100 percent, then were better off with him in right field. Now if he’s the Guti of old and 100 percent then of course you want him in center field. He just hasn’t proven he can do that.”
Wedge won’t put a timetable of Gutierrez’s rehab assignment, saying he’s going to work off of him.
“But I like I told you guys and I told him too, I need him to be not just able to play up here, but able to come up here, play every day, steal a base and do some things, otherwise we’ll end up back where we are now,” Wedge said.
Wedge won’t be held hostage by not knowing whether Gutierrez is available when it comes to playing time and making out the line-up.
“It’s tough,” he said. “And the fact of the matter is that we are going to lose a player.”
Endy Chavez would likely be that guy. Chavez would be the odd man out and have to be designated for assignment. Would he be clear waivers? It doesn’t seem likely. The Mariners do have some insurance with Corey Patterson playing center field in Tacoma.
Aaron Harang saw a chiropractor on Friday. He’s scheduled to play catch today and throw a light bullpen tomorrow. Wedge needs to know by tomorrow whether Harang will be available to pitch on Tuesday or if they have to place him on the disabled list and call up Hector Noesi.