Gamel has played in 57 of the Mariners' last 58 games. Also updates on Drew Smyly and Evan Marshall, and milestones for Jarrod Dyson and Robinson Cano
ARLINGTON, Texas — Ben Gamel was out of the starting lineup for Wednesday’s series finale against the Rangers.
Manager Scott Servais decided to give the rookie left fielder a much-deserved day off, but wouldn’t rule out using Gamel late in the game if needed.
“I can’t remember the last time we gave him a day off,” Servais said. “It’s probably been six weeks.”
Well, the last day off came on June 27 against the Astros in Seattle. That was his only day dating back to May 28 against the Red Sox. So he has played in 57 of the Mariners last 58 games, starting 55 of them. He played the full game in all but four of those 57 games.
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“I thought the timing was good right now,” Servais said.
Since May 28, Gamel is hitting .326 with an .818 on-base plus slugging percentage, 13 doubles, three triples, four homers and 22 RBI. But since that last off day on June 27, he’s hitting .258 with a .671 OPS, five doubles, two triples, two homers, 11 RBI and 32 strikeouts. He did come into the series with the Rangers, riding a 16-game hit streak, batting .319 with an .845 OPS over that span, but went hitless in his first two games in Texas.
“I know he’s young and full of energy and plays really hard, but even those guys need a day off,” Servais said.
With a huge four-game series looming against the Royals — a team they are trailing in the wild card standings — having a rested Gamel at the top of the order would be ideal. He plays the game at a max-effort, high-intensity level with minimal concern for his healthy. He crashes into walls and dives head first into bases without hesitation. It certainly takes a toll on his body.
“He does play extremely hard,” Servais said. “I really like young players because they should play like that, like they have something to prove every day. And he certainly does. I think he’s been a great fit on our team, not just what he’s done statistically, but how he plays.”
*** Drew Smyly made an appearance at Globe Life Park on Monday with his surgically repaired left elbow in a brace. Smyly lives in Dallas and has opted to do his rehab from Tommy John surgery in the area with his wife expecting their first child any day.
“He’s doing ok,” Servais said. “He really likes it here (in the organization) and really likes our team and feels bad that he wasn’t able to contribute. I talked with him for about five minutes one on one to see where he’s at. His wife is due any day. They’re excited about that.”
The recovery from Tommy John surgery is 12 to 15 months, meaning that Smyly, who underwent the surgery on August July 6, wouldn’t be available for much of the 2018 season. He is arbitration eligible meaning the Mariners can bring him back. But there’s a strong possibility that the organization won’t tender him a contract, given that he can only make 20 percent less than the $6.85 million he earned in 2017 per the Collective Bargain Agreement.
“I still would love to have him going forward,” Servais said. “Those are deals that Jerry (Dipoto) and his agent have to work out. But I still think there’s a very good fit for him here. It’s going to take some time to get healthy and get back out there. But it’s hard to find good starting pitching. And I think he’s a really good starting pitcher. I did say to him, ‘I’d like to see what you could do pitching in Seattle for a year,’ and he smiled and said, ‘I’d like to see it too.'”
*** Jarrod Dyson reached a career milestone on Wednesday night, stealing the 200th base of his career.
“It’s satisfying cause I’ve been a back-up guy basically my whole career,” he said. “It’s something special to me and I take a lot of pride in it.”
Dyson has been successful on 200 of 235 steal attempts for a 85 percent success rate, which is the second in MLB history for a players with a minimum of 225 attempts.
*** With his two doubles in Tuesday night’s win, Robinson Cano has 499 career doubles — the 63rd most in MLB history. He’s tied with Rusty Staub. With one more double, Cano will become the 63rd player in MLB history to reach 500 doubles, tying him with Goose Goslin and John Olerud.
*** Right-hander Evan Marshall (torn hamstring) was recalled from his rehab assignment, activated from the 60-day disabled list and outrighted to Class AAA Tacoma, meaning he no longer requires a 40-man roster spot.