The two Mariners' superstars got three plate appearances, but will play more this week.
PEORIA, Ariz. — After having to write out a lineup without them for the past six days — a period of time that he hopes won’t happen during the regular season — Mariners manager Scott Servais was finally able to ink in the names of Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz on his lineup card for Tuesday’s Cactus League game at Peoria Stadium.
Both players had been battling a cold/flu bug that had laid them low for about a week. It got to the point where Servais sent both of them home from the clubhouse for multiple days in a row for them to rest and recuperate. The two sluggers and key pieces to the Mariners’ potent middle of the order finally participated in a workout on Monday.
“They look more like their normal selves,” Servais said.
Both players were limited to three plate appearances in the game, but looked fine at the plate. With Jean Segura on third in the first inning, Cano lifted a deep fly ball to center off of Arizona ace Zack Greinke to score a run. He grounded out in his second at-bat and into a force out in his third time to the plate.
“I’m just tired right now,” Cano said after his limited action. “You just feel worn down. But I will be fine in a few days. I hated sitting out this close to the season. Even if I don’t feel good, I have to go and see pitches.”
After grounding out in his first at-bat, Cruz mashed a run-scoring double off Greinke that short-hopped the wall in left-center in the third inning. He struck out in his third at-bat.
“I could probably feel better because I haven’t played in a while but I feel good,” Cruz said. “My timing was good. When you are coming of WBC, you are season ready. We were playing playoff type games there. We are definitely prepared for the season.”
The plan is for Cano and Cruz to play the remainder of the week to help build game stamina and timing.
Servais will also start playing his opening day lineup in over the next few games before backing off on Saturday’s finale. That lineup will also include left-fielder Jarrod Dyson, who has been battling hamstring soreness and leg fatigue. Dyson has played just one game since leaving in the first inning of a game on March 17 with the leg fatigue. On Monday, he got 10 at-bats playing in multiple minor league games on the backfields of the Mariners’ complex. He followed that up on Tuesday with some running and agility drills to test the hamstring.
“It felt good,” he said. “I’ll be in the lineup tomorrow.”
Because of the World Baseball Classic, the illness and injuries and just typical spring training playing time iterations, the Mariners haven’t been able to put out their expected lineup. Also the demotion of first base Daniel Vogelbach changed the parameters of the lineup as well.
The Mariners expected daily lineup:
- Jarrod Dyson, LF
- Jean Segura, SS
- Robinson Cano, 2B
- Nelson Cruz, DH
- Kyle Seager, 3B
- Mitch Haniger, RF
- Danny Valencia, 1B
- Mike Zunino, C
- Leonys Martin, CF