Daniel Vogelbach was recalled from Class AAA Tacoma to take Gordon's place on the roster.
OAKLAND — The Mariners will be without their leadoff hitter and catalyst to their offense for at least 10 days, if not more.
Hours before they were set to open a quick one-city, three-game road trip in Oakland, the team announced it had placed second baseman/outfielder Dee Gordon on the disabled list with a “fractured right great toe.” They replaced him on the roster by recalling first baseman/designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach from Class AAA Tacoma.
The disabled list stint is retroactive to May 21.
Gordon originally injured his big toe when he fouled a ball off his foot in Toronto on May 9. He’s tried to play through the pain since then, with manager Scott Servais giving him a day off against the Blue Jays in hopes of managing it. But in Sunday’s extra-inning win over the Tigers, he was noticeably favoring the foot after a sprint to shallow right field where he tried to make a diving catch on a pop fly and also running the bases. Gordon scored the game-winning run from second, but was in obvious pain.
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“He’s been trying to play through it,” manager Scott Servais said. “We had some x-rays taken up there (in Toronto) and we knew there was a small little crack in it. But it’s one of those things you try to manage it the best you can. Then he kind of re-aggravated it on the homestand. You saw the game on Sunday where it was really bothering him. With his feet being such a big part of his game, we thought it was the best thing to do to let it calm down. It’s not going to completely heal in nine or 10 days, but certainly calm down enough to hopefully we can get him back sooner than later.”
Servais doesn’t anticipate it being a month-long recovery.
“I don’t see it being that way,” Servais said. “Dee wants to be out there in the worst way. But speed is his game. It’s something that should heal over time. It just wasn’t getting any better.”
Gordon wasn’t happy about going on the DL, but understood the reasoning.
“He knows he’s not right,” Servais said. “It even started affecting him in the batter’s box a little bit with his swing. So let’s get out ahead of this thing. He tried to play through it as long as he could, but it just wasn’t working.”
It’s is a big loss for Seattle’s lineup that features an ailing Nelson Cruz and a missing Robinson Cano. Gordon is hitting .304 (56 for 184) with a .330 on-base percentage, 25 runs scored, 10 doubles, a triple, a home run, 13 RBI and league-leading 16 stolen bases in 45 games this season. The Mariners are 23-10 in games where Gordon reaches base at least once in a game.
The move to recall Vogelbach is curious because it limits the Mariners defensively. But with Cruz still battling a bruised foot and also bruised elbow, Vogelbach could see some time at designated hitter and definitely be used as a pinch-hitter. His stay could be temporary as well. The Mariners could be using him for this series and then readjust their roster for the upcoming 10-game homestand starting on Friday. The Mariners are expected to face some right-handed starting pitchers in this series and vs. the Twins this weekend.
“He’s been swinging the bat great in Triple A,” Servais said.
Vogelbach is hitting .301 (25 for 83) with a .440 on-base percentage, .711 slugging percentage, seven doubles, nine home runs, 15 RBI and 22 walks with only 10 strikeouts in 24 games with Tacoma. He hit .204 (11 for 54) with two doubles, two home runs and five RBI in seven games with the Mariners.
Jean Segura will handle the leadoff spot in Gordon’s absence while Servais plays the matchups to determine the remainder of his batting order.