Pregame news and notes, 5/29


The Mariners took a 6-1 beating at the hands of the Padres at Safeco last night. The weary get no rest Wednesday night, as the M’s and Pads fly to San Diego for a 7:05 tilt. Before Joe Saunders takes on Eric Stults, here are some story lines to follow.

Morse out with injury

In the fourth inning of yesterday’s game, Mike Morse strained a quadricep muscle while trying to score from first on a Michael Saunders double. Morse left the game, but has not been placed on the disabled list. However, he did not travel with the team to Southern California and was re-evaluated today in Seattle. Eric Wedge says Morse will likely miss “minimal” time, something like three to five days. Even though Morse’s plate discipline has been lacking at times, the Mariners need his power back in the lineup as soon as possible.

Liddi up, Maurer down

With both Morse and Justin Smoak injured, the Mariners needed another position player without putting either of their bats on the disabled list. Enter versatile 3B/OF Alex Liddi, who has hit .267 with nine homers and 37 RBI in Tacoma this year. Brandon Maurer was optioned to AAA to make room for Liddi, after he was beat up in yesterday’s loss. Maurer will not be coming right back up for his next start though. Jeremy Bonderman, whose opt-out clause kicks in June 1, is the odds-on favorite to start Sunday in Minnesota. Wedge said he knows who will make the start, but isn’t ready to release that information as of yet.

Grandal returns from steroid suspension

Padres’ catcher Yasmani Grandal was once viewed as one of the top backstop prospects in baseball. He’s still viewed as such by many, but not without asterisk, as he drew a 50-game suspension in November for having elevated levels of testosterone. He returned last night with a 1-for-4 night, and he’ll get the chance to play in San Diego for the first time in 2013 tonight.

Here’s the lineup:

  1. Bay LF
  2. Chavez RF
  3. Seager 3B
  4. Morales 1B
  5. Shoppach C
  6. Saunders CF
  7. Franklin 2B
  8. Ryan SS
  9. Saunders P