Saunders out with flu as Mariners shy on outfielders
The Mariners outfield is suddenly a little shy on healthy bodies as Michael Saunders is sidelined today due to illness, or “flu-like symptoms” as reported by the club.
With Franklin Gutierrez out as well after suffering a slight concussion when he was hit in the head on a pickoff throw by Franklin Morales last night, that leaves the Mariners with just three able-bodied outfielders. One of those is utility man Chone Figgins, who will start in left field tonight.
Casper Wells, one of last night’s heroes in the 1-0 win over the Red Sox, will play center field tonight. He’s suddenly a very valuable man since being recalled from Tacoma two weeks ago.
We should learn more about Gutierrez’s situation shortly. If he’s going to miss some time, it’s possible under MLB’s new rules to put him on a seven-day “concussion” disabled list designed to protect players who suffer head injuries. Not sure if that will be necessary, but it’s an option if necessary. Should know more after we hear from Eric Wedge this afternoon.
Here’s tonight’s full lineup against Boston right-hander Aaron Cook (1-1, 9.39 ERA):
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Casper Wells CF
Kyle Seager 3B
Jesus Montero DH
John Jaso C
Justin Smoak 1B
Dustin Ackley 2B
Chone Figgins LF
Brendan Ryan SS
Hector Noesi RHP