Robinson Cano was once again absent from the Seattle Mariners’ lineup on Sunday afternoon, though manager Lloyd McClendon said the star second baseman is “doing fine.”
But that doesn’t mean there’s a timetable for his return. McClendon doesn’t know for sure when Cano’s left-hand contusion will heal enough for him to play again, but the manager indicated Cano’s return might not be that far off.
“I think it’s a combination of pain tolerance,” McClendon said. “He’s a tough guy, but we’ve got to manage 162 games, not a three-game series or four days. As a former player, I know how painful bone bruises can be and how nagging they can be, and the right thing to do is to get it quieted down so he can proceed and get ready to play again.
“We’re almost there. We’ll see how he is tomorrow. But he won’t be in there (Sunday).”
Cano, whose .327 batting average ranks fourth in the American League, suffered the contusion of his left hand – his top hand when he holds the bat – during a game last week against the Angels when the knob of the bat jammed into his hand as he swung at a pitch.
McClendon said Cano has been able to work on “everything else” besides hitting since he suffered the injury – “taking ground balls, getting his cardio in” – but that he’s not been able to work on any hitting drills while he waits for his hand to recover.
With Cano out, the Mariners again turned to veteran utility man Willie Bloomquist to fill in at second base. Bloomquist came through with a pair of RBI singles on Saturday, helping the shorthanded Mariners to a 3-2 victory over Detroit.
Bloomquist will bat ninth today.
Meanwhile, infielder Nick Franklin, who is 0-for-14 with nine strikeouts in his last four games, was not in the lineup. Franklin is batting .128 in 52 plate appearances with the Mariners this season.
“(Bloomquist) had a good game last night and Franklin didn’t,” McClendon said. “Just trying to find options for guys that can help us win games.
“He’s a veteran guy. He knows what he’s doing. He has not had a lot of opportunities but when you’re a utility player, that’s what happens,” McClendon said of Bloomquist. “When you do get those opportunities, you’ve got to take advantage of them. He’s done that.”