Greg Halman took extra batting practice and took some fly-ball work with Carlos Peguero, Mike Wilson and Chris Gimenez in left field.
You can expect to see a lot of that in the coming weeks. Halman is still trying to find his rhythm after missing most of the season with a broken bone in his left hand.
Halman was hit by a pitch in the Rainiers fourth game of the year on April 10.
“It was a pitch up in on my hands,” he said. “It went right under my face and I just tried to get out of the way and tuck my hands back, but it just ran right in on my bottom hand. The pain was unbelievable. It felt like I broke my hand, but I didn’t want to believe that it was broke on the fourth game of the season. I stayed in there, stole a bag and slid, then I really knew it was broke. I went to play to defense and then came back to the dugout and tried to take a swing, but I dropped the bat. It was impossible.”
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Halman was activated on May 29 and homered in his first at-bat back.
"Yeah, the third pitch I saw," he said. "That was a big boost. It felt awesome to do that in your first AB back."
Obviously, it's not a perfect situation bringing back a player in this situation. Ideally, they would like to have had Halman have a few weeks of games. But the call up wasn't so much about the need to bring Halman up, but the need to send Saunders and try get himself back on track.
"It’s two-fold," Wedge said. "One, we felt like we needed to send Michael down now. And two, Greg was the guy that fits what we need."
That's why Mike Carp wasn't called up.
"We need to have a backup center fielder, a true center fielder so when (Gutierrez) is not out there we can have a guy out there who can run it down," Wedge said. "We need a guy who can run it down in left field from time to time. Granted, it’s only a week off the DL, but he was impressive to me this spring, he got off to a pretty good start in regard to what (Daren Brown) and those guys were seeing down there, and he’s done a couple of things this week."
Halman will be the fifth outfielder. He will start on days when Gutierrez needs a day off. He may get a start in left field and you can expect him in left field late in close games for defensive purposes.
What does Wedge expect from Saunders?
Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready will be performing the national anthem on his guitar. The Mariners in conjunction with the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America set up a special ticket promotion with people purchasing those tickets to able to receive a special McCready bobblehead doll. A portion of the money from those tickets will go to the foundation for research. McCready suffers from Crohn's disease.
RHP Andy Sonnanstine
- Johnny Damon DH
- Ben Zobrist 2B
- Evan Longoria 3B
- Matt Joyce RF
- BJ Upton CF
- Seasn Rodriguez SS
- Felipe Lopez 1B
- John Jaso C
- Justin Ruggiano LF
- Ichiro RF
- Brendan Ryan SS
- Justin Smoak 1B
- Jack Cust DH
- Franklin Gutierrez CF
- Adam Kennedy 2B
- Miguel Olivo C
- Chone Figgins 3B
- Carlos Peguero LF
LHP Jason Vargas (3-3, 4.50 ERA)