The T-shirts have varied in color and design since manager Scott Servais resumed his daily media sessions – now all exclusively via Zoom. But the message on them has largely remained the same – vote.
With the exception of the Black Lives Matter T-shirt that he wore on opening day in Houston along with the rest of the players on the Mariners, Servais has worn a T-shirt that has something to do with exercising the right to vote or registering to vote.
On Tuesday as people wrapped up primary voting in the state of Washington, dropping off ballots in the mail or at designated drop-off spots or even going to certain voting centers, Servais was wearing a navy shirt that read: “Register. Show up. Vote.” It seemed like an appropriate time to ask Servais about his sartorial choices.
“I think it’s a way for everybody to have a voice,” Servais said. “And I think we need to take it seriously. And it is a way for opportunity to make change. It’s something I continue to talk about with our players. I’d love to get all of our players registered and have them vote as well. I think it’s really, really important where we’re at right now.”
With all that is going on in the world and in the country with the continued spread of the pandemic known as the novel coronavirus and the growing demand for social justice reform and the Black Lives Matter movement, Servais has increased his efforts to interact with the players about non-baseball issues, while also trying to bring an open dialogue among players in an effort to foster education and understanding. He is pushing for open and honest discussions generated by his players.
But the concept of voting and civic participation, well, he’s added that to the agenda of what is being discussed.
“It’s something I’m feel very strongly about,” he said. “You know, we talk about change throughout our country. It’s easy to talk about, but how do you actually make it happen? I think voting is one of the way you can make it happen.”
Servais bought his assortment of shirts online and he plans to continue to wear them possibly even after the federal elections in November. He hopes that the message isn’t being lost on his players.
“I’m continuing to learn,” he said. “I’m learning a lot from our guys and asking them questions and making sure they understand the importance of it. Often times the biggest change can happen locally in state and local elections. We all know there’s a big one coming down the road here nationally so I just want to create awareness. I think that’s part of my job. And it’s not to tell anybody how to vote. It’s just to make sure that you have a voice and you use it.”
Graveman to the injured list
The Mariners don’t have a definitive cause for the issues in Kendall Graveman’s neck, but they know he won’t be making his next start on Saturday vs. the Rockies. The Mariners placed the veteran starter on the injured list (retroactive to Aug. 3) with neck spasms on Tuesday afternoon with a handful of other roster moves that included selecting the minor-league contract of right-handed pitcher Joey Gerber and adding him to the 40-man roster and the 30-man active roster.
Recalling left-handed pitcher Taylor Guilbeau from the alternate training site.
Optioning right-handed reliever Zac Grotz to the alternate training site.
The Mariners are still trying to find out the cause of Graveman’s neck spasms.
“He’s getting more tests done today,” Servais said. “We’re waiting to get more results back now. He had a different scan done today and has talked to a number of different doctors, trying to figure out what the right treatment to go toward to try to clean this up and calm it down as quick as possible.”
With Graveman out, the Mariners prefer to maintain their six-man rotation and will likely slide lefty Nick Margevicius into Graveman’s spot to join Marco Gonzales, Taijuan Walker, Yusei Kikuchi, Justus Sheffield and Justin Dunn.
“I do like the six-man rotation,” Servais said. “I think it’s been beneficial for those guys. Certainly with Marco, Yusei and Taijuan, allowing them to go a little bit deeper and also giving our young guys that extra day before they go out there again.”
Gerber, 23, is rated as the No. 25 prospect in the Mariners organization by Baseball America. He was impressive during the original spring training, making five appearances and not allowing a run in five innings pitched with a walk and seven strikeouts. Gerber, an eighth-round pick in the 2018 draft out of the University of Illinois, split last season between High-A Modesto and Double-A Arkansas. In 19 appearances with Arkansas, he posted a 1.59 ERA with 30 strikeouts and seven walks in 22 2/3 innings pitched.
Guilbeau gives the Mariners another lefty to use with Margevicius entering the rotation while Grotz returns to Tacoma to find some command that evaded him. He had seven walks in six innings pitched.