ARLINGTON, Texas — Any plans Omar Narvaez might have had for the Mariners’ off day in the Bay Area have now been scrapped. He’ll spend all day Thursday getting treatment for his aching left knee.
The Mariners’ starting catcher was removed from the series finale Wednesday in Texas with a deep contusion after taking a foul ball off his knee in the third inning. Danny Santana fouled the ball straight down, catching Narvaez on the top of his left knee. Even though the ball appeared to strike his padded shin guard, Narvaez crumpled over in agony.
“It hurt,” he said. “I got hit on Sunday in the exact same spot. It made it worse when I got hit again.”
With his knee already tender, the latest shot was difficult to endure. Narvaez finished the inning behind the plate as the Mariners got the final two outs, but he was lifted for Tom Murphy in his scheduled at-bat in the top of the fourth.
“I really tried to man-up a little bit and see how it feels,” he said. “But when Santana tried to steal third base, I didn’t feel comfortable throwing. And I didn’t want to hurt the team.”
Narvaez was having a strong series. He hit a pair of homers in the defeat Tuesday and singled in his first at-bat Wednesday. Overall this season, he’s been one of the Mariners’ top hitters, batting .301 with an .880 on-base plus slugging percentage, eight homers and 20 RBI.
He’s officially “day to day” in his status. Seattle manager Scott Servais, though, said he doesn’t think the team will need to make a roster move or place Narvaez on the injured list. The Mariners don’t have another catcher on the 40-man roster so they would have to open a space if they were to bring up either Jose Lobaton or Austin Nola from Class AAA Tacoma.
“It’s a bad bruise,” Servais said. “He’ll get a bunch of treatment tomorrow and we’ll see how he feels. Knowing Omar, he’s a pretty tough cat. Hopefully he’ll be available on Friday.”
Narvaez said he plans to be ready.
“I’m going to work on it tomorrow,” he said. “It’s all about being ready to play. I’m not here to get off days. I’m here to play. I want to get myself in the lineup.”
• Anthony Bass’ Mariners debut was quick and efficient. Brought in to pitch in the eighth inning with one out and a runner on first base, Bass’ first pitch was rocketed back at him off the bat of Hunter Pence. Bass snared the ball out of the air and flipped it to first to double off pinch runner Delino DeShields. Bass was signed as a free agent Tuesday. Left-hander Jesse Biddle, whom the Mariners acquired in a trade with the Braves on Monday, also made his debut with the team, facing two batters, allowing a hit and recording an out.
• All indications are that Kyle Seager will join the Mariners in the Bay Area this weekend and be activated from the 60-day injured list Saturday when he’s eligible to return. The Mariners will have to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for him.
“The reports are pretty good,” Servais said. “I’ve actually texted with Kyle a couple times. He feels good physically. There are no issues with his hand or anything like that. You know Kyle, he’s still working out the kinks in his swing a little bit, which is OK. That’s who he is. He’s pretty upbeat and anxious to get back and start playing real games and getting on with his season. We’re looking forward to getting him back.”
• Servais said Yusei Kikuchi will make a normal full start Saturday against the A’s. Servais did say, however, the team is going to look at the rookie left-hander to make another one-inning start among his next two or three starts after that. It’s notable because Kikuchi’s next start after Saturday would come against the Angels where he’d get to face close friend Shohei Ohtani, who is the designated hitter for Los Angeles.
• The Mariners were able to keep two of the four relievers they have designated for assignment in the past week to clear 40-man roster spots. Right-handers Nick Rumbelow and Mike Wright both cleared waivers and were outrighted to Class AAA Tacoma.