Yes indeed, manager Scott Servais was a little distressed.
It is one thing to lose a starting middle infielder, which the Mariners did Monday for their home opener when shortstop Jean Segura came up lame with a strained right hamstring and was pulled after the third inning.
But then to see your star second baseman Robinson Cano go down wincing after fouling a pitch off the top of his right foot in the following inning?
What would the infield have looked like then?
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Servais did not have to plan for that.
“That would have been tough,” Servais said. “My mind was racing on who we were going to put out there. The variations of what we had left on our bench — one included ‘Chooch’ (catcher Carlos Ruiz) showing up somewhere in the infield.”
When Cano motioned he was OK to continue, Servais let out a sigh of relief.
“I’m glad we did not have to go there,” he said.
Seattle beat Houston, 6-0, in front of 44,356 at Safeco Field.
The club will have enough to worry about with Segura’s status before meeting up with the Astros again Tuesday night.
The Mariners’ biggest offseason acquisition in a trade with Arizona had been one of the lone bright spots in the lineup from the leadoff position. Heading into the game Monday, Segura was the only starter hitting above .300 (.333).
Servais said that Segura tweaked the hamstring but remained in the game in order to try and stretch it out.
He reached base on a fielder’s choice with one out in the third inning — and was promptly erased on Mitch Haniger’s double-play lineout to first baseman Yulieski Gurriel.
But immediately after Segura picked himself up off the dirt at the end of the inning, he limped back to the dugout. Servais took him out of the game, replacing him with utilityman Taylor Motter.
Servais called Segura “day to day,” adding the injury was very mild.
“Our fingers are crossed that he will be OK,” Servais said.
In the meantime, if Segura is forced to miss a few games, Motter appears in line to start at shortstop — the position at which he most feels natural playing.
“Shortstop is what I played growing up and in college (at Coastal Carolina),” Motter said. “With the (Tampa Bay) Rays, I didn’t play much of it, but I got to play a little more last year. It definitely helped to hone my skills a little bit.”
Cano fouled off a 2-2 pitch in the fourth inning from Houston starter Charlie Morton and instantly went down in pain.
He said the baseball hit him at the top of his right foot, in between the protective leg and toe guards.
“It was hurting me, but I know we don’t have Segura, so I don’t want to force the manager (Servais) to have to go get somebody else,” Cano said.
Slightly limping, Cano finished the at-bat, drawing a walk. He eventually was stranded at third base with the bases loaded.
Cano drew another walk in the fifth inning, and scored during the Mariners’ decisive three-run outburst.
“I will be fine,” Cano said.