Mariners manager Eric Wedge said that outfielder Michael Saunders felt tightness in his hamstring, which is why he’s out of the line-up.
“It’s better today, but there is not sense of taking any chances,” Wedge said.
A little different line-up with Justin Smoak out today. A day off was due for Smoak, who has started the last 27 straight games for the Mariners. And when they do give Smoak a day off, they usually do it against a lefty starter.
“I think he’s looked strong, I think Kendrys looked strong, but I think they both needed a day,” he said.
Speaking of lefty starters, starting tonight the Mariners will face four straight lefty starting pitchers.
That could be an issue the way the Mariners have hit left-handed pitching this year. They are hitting .229 against lefty starters with a .672 on-base percentage.
Wedge hasn’t announced which players he will bring up when rosters expand on Sept. 1. But one player that is coming up is reliever Tom Wilhelmsen, despite the fact that he still seems to be experiencing the same command issues that plagued him at the big league level. Wilhelmsen has appeared in eight games and has a 10.50 ERA. In 12 innings pitched, h has given up 19 hits and 14 earned runs with 15 strikeouts and five walks.
“It’s not always indicative of what you are seeing up there,” Wedge said. “Once he gets up here and we have a good chat with him and break him back in. He’s not too far removed from having success up here.”