Seattle Mariners

Robinson Cano will be ‘every day’ player when he returns from suspension, just not at second base

Robinson Cano warms up before the game. The Seattle Mariners played the Los Angeles Angels in a Major League Baseball game at Safeco Field in Seattle, Wash. on Friday, May 4, 2018.
Robinson Cano warms up before the game. The Seattle Mariners played the Los Angeles Angels in a Major League Baseball game at Safeco Field in Seattle, Wash. on Friday, May 4, 2018.

Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto is not worried about how Robinson Cano’s return to the roster affects what the team had going without him.

He had given every indication that Cano will get regular playing time when the 35-year-old returns on what’s slated to be Aug. 14 in Oakland, and then he told Joel Sherman of the New York Post this week they plan to have Cano in the lineup every day.

This means Dee Gordon will get the bulk of the time at second base after transitioning back to his Gold Glove position from center field when Cano was suspended.

“Our expectation is that Dee Gordon is going to play second base,” Dipoto said. “(Cano) is not eligible for the postseason, so we have to get Dee on the field. Cano will play first base, occasionally second base and DH. He will be in the lineup every day.”

This had been the scenario for a while. Dipoto had recently said, “I’ll talk to you about that later” when asked if Cano would be open to contributing somewhere other than second base.

Cano was then asked about that in his first and only interview with media since he was suspended.

“I haven’t talked to Jerry yet, but I would do anything for the team,” Cano said two weeks ago. “This is not about myself, this is about us as a team.

“I’m focused on bringing a title to Seattle, so I would do whatever it takes to help this team win. At the same time, I understand I’m not going to be able to play in the playoffs, so you got to give a chance to Dee to go out and play because when we get to the playoffs he’s going to have to come back and play second base.”

Dipoto’s comments are contrary to that of former Mariner Harold Reynolds, the MLB Network analyst who told 950-KJR last month that, “the way the team is playing … I would just say we’ll see you next spring. We’ll use you as a pinch hitter.”

Cano has never played first base in the major leagues. He’s DHed, played second and some shortstop. If he’s splitting time at first base and DH, that means less playing time for Ryon Healy and Nelson Cruz – who have combined for 40 home runs.

It also complicates things for beyond this year, not that they weren’t already. Cruz is a pending free agent, Gordon is signed through 2020 with an option for 2021 and Cano is signed through 2023 after signing a 10-year, $240 million contract in 2014, though he lost almost $12 million of that because of this unpaid suspension.

MVP Robbery

Well, Jean Segura.

The fans sent Segura to Washington, D.C. Then he sent a three-run home run over the left-field wall in the eighth inning.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">.<a href="">@ncboomstick23</a> is all of us.<br><br><a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TrueToTheBlue</a> x <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AllStarGame</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) <a href="">July 18, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

Segura won the American League’s Final Vote to get into the All-Star Game for the second time in his career. So he was the last one onto the team, but he was three outs from likely the All-Star Game MVP, which would have given the Mariners’ back-to-back midsummer classic MVPs.

But Mariners closer Edwin Diaz allowed a game-tying two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to the Reds’ Scooter Gennett. He was saving his saves for the second half of the season – besides, he already leads the major leagues with 36 saves.

Diaz did get the win, though, when the Astros’ Alex Bregman hit the go-ahead home run in the top of the 10th and George Springer followed with another to make it, 7-5 American League. Segura made it 8-5 when he singled and later scored on Michael Brantley’s sacrifice fly.

So Segura went 2-for-2 with the home run, three RBI and two runs scored, but Bregman got the MVP award going 1-for-3 with the solo homer.

Mitch Haniger caught the final out of the game in his first All-Star appearance, but he went 0-for-2 at the plate after he took over for right-fielder Mookie Betts. Nelson Cruz drew a walk in his lone at-bat after he entered for DH J.D. Martinez.

TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677; Twitter: @TJCotterill