Nelson Cruz, who also left Thursday's game after getting hit by a pitch, was back in the lineup on Friday.
For the second time this season, the Mariners will be without their starting shortstop. On Friday, the club made a slew of roster moves before opening a three-game series at Safeco Field with the Tampa Bay Rays. The most notable of them was placing Jean Segura on the 10-day disabled list with a high right ankle sprain.
It wasn’t a surprising move after seeing the replays of Segura injuring the ankle in Thursday’s 6-3 loss to the Rockies on a slide into second base in the fifth inning. The injury looked serious and he had to be helped off the field. Segura was in the clubhouse on Friday and the ankle was badly swollen.
“Timetable-wise, we don’t really know yet,” manager Scott Servais said. “We will kind of see where he’s at seven days out from now and get a chance to get a little bit better feel.”
In a radio interview on Sportsradio KJR, general manager Jerry Dipoto said Segura could be out a month or longer.
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Segura was hitting .341 (62 for 182) with a .391 on-base percentage, 29 runs, 10 doubles, four home runs, 20 RBI in 43 games this season. He ranks second in the American League in batting just percentage points behind Tampa Bay’s Corey Dickerson average of .341 (73 for 214).
In some positive injury news, Nelson Cruz, who was struck on the hand with a pitch and was also forced to leave Thursday’s game, was back in the lineup on Friday night at designated hitter. Cruz was diagnosed with a bruised hand.
“He wants to play tonight and we are going to give it a go,” Servais said. “He hit some balls in the cage and he thinks he’s going to be all right.”
Losing Segura and Cruz would’ve been crippling for a beaten up Mariners team that’s already used disabled list far more than any team should. It’s the 16th disabled list stint for the Mariners this season and second for Segura, who missed 12 games (April 11-25) with a strained hamstring.
“It could have been much worse with everything else that has happened to us this year,” Servais said. “It was tough to watch everything happen yesterday with those two guys.”
Here’s the rest of the roster moves:
- Tyler Smith, INF, selected from AAA Tacoma.
- Tyler Cloyd, RHP, selected from AAA Tacoma.
- Casey Lawrence, RHP, optioned to AAA Tacoma.
- Ryan Weber, RHP, transferred to the 60-day disabled list.
- Andrew Aplin, OF, designated for assignment.
Smith, who turns 25 on July 1, will fill the the back-up infielder spot while Taylor Motter moves to the every day shortstop role again. An eighth-round pick in the 2013 draft out of Oregon State, Smith has been to MLB spring training the last two years and played the last two seasons with the Rainiers. This year, he’s hitting .265 with a .344 on-base percentage, eight doubles, five homers and 19 RBI in 50 games. He can play any position in the infield and both corner outfield spots.
“The last two years, actually being in big league camp, being around these guys, it’s definitely more comfortable walking in today knowing these guys for awhile and playing with them and getting to start quite a few games,” he said. “As far as I know, it prepares me. We’ll see when I actually get out there and start playing.”
Cloyd’s meandering path to the Mariners’ clubhouse at Safeco Field included a stint at the start of the season in the independent Atlantic League with the Somerset Patriots where he made three starts and allowed two runs in 12 innings pitched. The Mariners signed him to a minor league contract on May 12 and assigned him to Tacoma. He was 1-0 with a 1.10 ERA in four starts with the Rainiers, having struck out 14 batters in 16 1/3 innings pitched.
Cloyd does have big league experience. He spent parts of the 2012 and 2013 season with the Phillies, making 17 starts and two relief appearances. He posted a 4-9 record with a 5.98 ERA. Cloyd started last season in the Yankees organization, appearing in four games before needing Tommy John surgery.
“I didn’t think it would happen this fast,” he said. “When you put all the work in coming back from injury and during rehab to get back here. Happened a little quicker. I’m excited to be here.”
Lawrence was brilliant for the Mariners in relief on Thursday, pitching five innings and allowing one run on three hits with nine strikeouts and three walks. The nine strikeouts were a club record for a reliever. His reward for the outing was being sent back to Tacoma. With the extended work, Lawrence would be unavailable for multiple days and the Mariners cycled in Cloyd as a fresh arm. It’s something they’ve done all season.
“Casey Lawrence did a phenomenal job for us yesterday, really has pitched well since he’s been here,” Servais said. “He kind of exhausted all of his pitches. He’s going to be down for a few days. We’re trying to get a fresh arm in here, which we’ve done multiple times here over the last few weeks to make sure, keep our bullpen afloat.”
To make room on the 40-man roster for Smith and Cloyd, Weber was placed on the 60-day disabled list while Aplin, who was recently designated for assignment by the Astros before the Mariners acquired him, was designated again.