OAKLAND — It appears that Eric Wedge will be back in the dugout for the Seattle Mariners this weekend.
Last week in Tampa, Fla., acting manager Robby Thompson and general manager Jack Zduriencik both said there was a strong possibility that the Mariners manager could return to his position during the upcoming six-day, six-game homestand that starts Friday against the Los Angeles Angels.
On Monday, Thompson was more definitive, saying Wedge will “be back on Friday.”
Thompson said Wedge was eager to return.
Thompson did not say whether Wedge would be back managing in a full-time capacity and admitted there were some details that needed to be worked out. There have been some concerns about Wedge flying on road trips as he recovers from a minor stroke.
“I’m not sure in what capacity, or just easing into it,” Thompson said. “We’ll talk tomorrow and then I’ll probably see him maybe on the off day and then we’ll get a game plan together. But he will be back in uniform on Friday.”
Wedge has not managed since experiencing dizziness before a home game on July 22.
He was taken from the field to the hospital, where he was later diagnosed as having had a minor stroke. He has been recovering in Seattle and has made a handful of appearances at Safeco Field.
Thompson has taken his place in the interim and managed the team to an 11-15 record.
Morse’s wrist sore
Michael Morse was out of the lineup Monday night against the A’s. It was the second straight day the big outfielder was on the bench.
Thompson said Morse has been bothered by a sore left wrist on a few swings of late. Morse was wearing a brace on the wrist while taking batting practice before Monday’s game. Thompson said it wasn’t anything serious.
“It’s nothing severe, but on a couple of swings he’s kind of grimaced and held his wrist as of late,” Thompson said. “So we’ll give him another day and see where he’s at tomorrow.”
Morse has been a serious disappointment for the Mariners.
Between injuries and ineffectiveness, he never became the legitimate middle of the power presence they had hoped he would be. He has played in 70 games this season and is hitting .232 (61-for-263) with 12 homers and 26 RBI.
Morse, who is in the final year of his contract, has cost himself a few million in future contract dollars because of this season.
Catcher Mike Zunino, who is recovering from wrist surgery, hit soft toss on Monday, according to Thompson. There’s a good chance Zunino will be healthy enough to take batting practice on the home stand. If all goes well, he could be sent out on a rehab stint shortly thereafter. . According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Michael Saunders became just the third player to notch three hits in three at-bats against Texas ace Yu Darvish. The other players to do it were DeWayne Wise (3-for-3 for the White Sox on April 30) and Adam Lind (3-for-3 for the Blue Jays on June 8). Outfielder Endy Chavez was ready to make his big league pitching debut on Saturday night in the Mariners’ 15-3 loss. He was headed out to the bullpen to loosen up and would have gone in if Charlie Furbush had continued to allow runs. “I used to pitch when I was younger,” said the 35-year-old Chavez. “I have a fastball, change-up and a slider. I can pitch a little.”
The series in Oakland will continue with a game at 7:07 p.m. Tuesday. The Mariners are expected to send left-hander Joe Saunders (10-12, 4.86 ERA) to the mound. The A’s will go with rookie right-hander Sonny Gray (1-1, 1.00 ERA), who will be making his third big league start. The game will be broadcast on Root Sports and 710-AM.ryan.divish@ thenewstribune.com 253-597-8483 blog.thenewstribune.com/mariners @RyanDivish