Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano will miss Thursday night’s series opener against the Cleveland Indians with “flu-like symptoms,” Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said.
Cano hasn’t missed a game since late July of last season and played in all but five of Seattle’s games in 2014.
“He’s sick,” McClendon said, “… dehydrated, taking an IV. I’m not sure how much fluid he’s gotten back in but he’s dehydrated. He’s lost a few pounds.”
Cano is hitting .253 with one home run and 13 RBIs in 46 games so far this season. He, Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager — the 3-4-5 hitters in all of Seattle’s games this month — has combined to hit .297 with 11 doubles, 15 home runs and 40 RBIs in May.
Iwakuma plays catch
Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma played catch Thursday for the first time since landing on the 15-day disabled list with a lat strain on April 24, but a possible return is still at least a week away, McClendon said.
“He’ll continue to progress with his rehab and we’ll see how it goes,” McClendon said. “Obviously, he’s getting to the point where he feels good enough to get on the mound. I’ll be surprised (if he returns) in the next seven or eight days. The discomfort and the inflammation has dissipated to the point where he can get out and continue his rehab.”
Iwakuma racked up a 6.61 ERA in three starts prior to the injury, allowing 13 runs on 20 hits and three walks in less than 17 innings of work.
Facing down Kluber
Seattle fans will get their first look at the pitcher who edged Felix Hernandez in last year’s American League Cy Young voting, as Corey Kluber makes his Safeco Field debut on Thursday night.
Though a slow start means Kluber’s win/loss (2-5) and ERA (3.49) numbers are less-than-impressive, the righty has been lights out in his last three starts. In his last three outings, Kluber has gone 2-0 with a 0.72 ERA with 37 strikeouts against one walk. He’s held opponents to a combined .176 (15-85) batting average and four extra-base hits.
“He’s got a complete arsenal and he can work with it,” McClendon said. “Our game-plan is going to have to be right on him.”
– Thursday’s four-game series opener was the first of 11 straight home games for the Mariners, their longest such stretch of the season. This is just Seattle’s second homestand of 11-plus games dating back to 2005.