For the second straight game, Robinson Cano was out of the starting lineup. After being a late scratch before Thursday’s game against the Angels, Cano was never considered for Friday night’s game against the Detroit Tigers at Safeco Field.
It’s rare for Cano to be out of the starting lineup for a game, but two in a row? It hasn’t happened since Aug. 2-3, 2008. Cano actually played in that game on Aug. 3. He made an eighth-inning pinch-hit appearance and had a two-run single.
So what knocked Cano from the lineup for back-to-back games? Manager Lloyd McClendon said Cano has been dealing with a hand contusion.
“He’s day to day,” McClendon said.
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While it may not seem too serious, the contusion is something that can get worse if not taken care of. The pain is in the soft muscle in between the thumb and index finger of his left hand. It’s a common injury that happens to hitters when they get jammed by hard fastballs inside and the bat pushes against that spot.
The problem with the injury is that it is hard to heal because it can be aggravated so easily.
“I feel better than I felt yesterday,” Cano said. “Maybe tomorrow. It’s up to the manager.”
Maurer optioned to Tacoma
The Mariners made a roster move before Friday’s game. Struggling starting pitcher Brandon Maurer was optioned to Class AAA Tacoma. The Mariners selected the contract of outfielder Endy Chavez and placed him on the 25-man roster.
To make room for Chavez on the 40-man roster, pitcher Blake Beavan was transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list.
Maurer struggled in Wednesday’s 7-5 loss to the Angels. He pitched just four innings, giving up five runs on six hits with four walks and two strikeouts. Maurer underwent an MRI before Friday’s game to address some back pain. The MRI came back clean.
Maurer was 1-4 in seven starts with a 7.52 ERA in 321/3 innings.
Chavez was hitting .272 with two doubles and six RBI in 37 games for the Rainiers. McClendon inserted him into the starting lineup immediately, having him lead off and play left field in Friday night’ss game. Chavez had an opt-out clause in his minor-league contract for June 1. And he was likely to exercise that option if not on the big-league club.
McClendon said the first option to replace Maurer in the rotation would be right-hander Erasmo Ramirez, who pitched on Wednesday for Class AAA Tacoma.
• Taijuan Walker threw a bullpen session on Friday. He is scheduled to throw Monday with the Rainiers in El Paso, Texas.
• Saturday night is Robinson Cano bobblehead night. The first 20,000 fans at Safeco will receive them.