Healy is treating Friday night like his opening night after playing just seven games this season before going on the disabled list with a sprained ankle.

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CLEVELAND — It’s not a quite a do-over because those seven games will still be part of his statistical record. But for Ryon Healy, his return to the Mariners lineup on Friday night represented a chance to reset and restart his 2018 season.

“That’s the mindset I’m taking, obviously those first seven games weren’t ideal,” he said. “For me, we are playing the same team we played on opening night. So mentally I’m trying to use this as an opening night for me and go out and compete and contribute.”

The Mariners officially announced the already-expected roster move on Thursday afternoon, activating Healy from the 10-day disabled list and optioning first baseman Daniel Vogelbach to Class AAA Tacoma after Wednesday’s 4-3 win in Chicago.

A hand injury that eventually needed surgery on February 14, ruined most of Healy’s offseason workouts and early spring training. He recovered in time to be on the opening day roster, playing in seven games and hitting .091 (2 for 22) with a .267 on-base plus slugging percentage and six strikeouts. His most productive game came on Saturday, April 7 in an 11-4 victory over the Twins. Healy had a key three-run double to break the game open. After the game, he sprained his ankle while doing a workout and was placed on the disabled list the next day.

After all that, it’s easy to understand why he’s trying to forget that and move forward with a new opening day.

“I’m just eager to get back and have a fresh start to the season,” he said. “The seven-game start I had, obviously wasn’t ideal. I wasn’t excited about it. The fans weren’t excited about it. The team wasn’t excited about it. I’m excited to come back and start over because I know I’m not that player.”

So how far is willing to take this mentality of it being his new opening night?

“I’m going to do my own intro,” he joked. “I don’t know if they’re going to yell my name, but I’ll jog out to the line and do the anthem out there and wave my cap.”

Kidding aside, if this little mental trick helps him get off to a better start than the first time around, Healy and the Mariners will be happy.

“It’s nice to have Ryon back,” manager Scott Servais said. “He got an opportunity to play four or five games in Arkansas. Hopefully it helps with his timing a little bit. Again, minor league pitching is different than big league pitching, but he’ll be out there this weekend and hopefully he’ll get off to a good start.”

Perhaps the most frustrating aspect for Healy was that he felt like his timing at the plate was coming around. And then the injury occurred.

“My swing was just starting to feel really good,” he said. “I didn’t get a ton of swings this offseason. I didn’t get a ton of swings this spring. I was really still working on things for the first couple games of the season. I felt like I found something that worked right before the injury happened. Fortunately for me, that’s still been good since. I didn’t lose it.”

Because his ankle started feeling better quickly, Healy was able to continue hitting just days after the injury.

“It felt like I was taking BP right away when the team got back to Seattle,” he said.  “I was trying to keep it as normal as I possibly could, apart from playing in the games. So my days felt normal up until game time and then I felt pretty empty inside.”

Healy hit .333 (5 for 15) with a home run, six RBI and three walks for Class AA Arkansas.

“I was very excited with the quality of at-bats,” he said. “It’s minor league compared to Major League pitching, but I wasn’t looking at the results. I was looking at the process. I was looking at good pitches. My timing came and went a little bit but I felt like it got really good towards the end. When timing comes around so does the pitch recognition. It’s all of that. Getting into a good hitting position early allows the eyes to turn on and recognize spin, location and lets you put the best swing you can on the best pitch”

Healy has had no issues or setbacks with the ankle. It feels normal.

“That’s the biggest thing is you don’t want to think about it when you’re out there between the lines,” he said. “And just play.”

Also … 

The Mariners received good news on outfielder Guillermo Heredia, who was struck in the hand/wrist area by a pitch while playing with Class AAA Tacoma. After undergoing x-rays, there were no fractures found. He’s expected to miss the next few games.

 

04.26.18 Game Notes by Ryan Divish on Scribd