The Seattle Mariners clubhouse was locked at Safeco Field as shoving, scuffling and arguing could be heard inside before the team’s game against the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday.
Dee Gordon initially asked media to leave what was an open clubhouse before the doors were locked. They door so later briefly burst open when players ran into them during the incident before a player quickly re-shut them.
Why the incident occurred or who the instigators were behind it were unclear. Some of the players and coaches who were asked declined to talk about it, saying what happens in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse.
Robinson Cano was in the clubhouse and it appeared as if he was trying to help stop the mess. He declined to talk about what transpired.
“I don’t want to talk about that,” Cano said. “Whatever happens in here stays in here. It didn’t affect anyone in here. All was good and everybody was good.
“Whatever happens in here stays in here, that’s what I can say.”
Mariners manager Scott Servais was on the field when the apparent fight broke loose and he briefly addressed it in his pregame interview with reporters. He said it would not affect the Mariners’ Tuesday night game or who was available to play.
“I’m getting the details of it, but things happen in the clubhouse when you’re talking about 25, or in this case now 35, of the most competitive guys you’re ever going to be around,” Servais said from the Mariners’ dugout. He took the interview outside instead of in his office, where it’s usually held.
“You spend basically every waking moment it seems like together all the time. I’ve been on a number of different teams, it’s one of those things people will see at some point, but our guys are working on the situation. The thing is you got to be a professional and get ready to play the game tonight.”
Servais was asked how often fights occur that just aren’t seen.
“A lot more than you’d think,” he said. “I would pretty much say, gosh, I played for 11 years and it’s always most every year that every team I’ve been part of. Sometimes you kind of get to a boiling point and you got to get something off of your chest and you go from there.”
The Mariners entered Tuesday with a 77-61 record and were 5½ games behind the Oakland Athletics for the American League’s final wild card playoff spot.
“(Stuff) happens,” Servais said. “That’s all you can really say about it.
“Our guys are working through it and talking through it. It’s unfortunate, but it happens. Usually there is a root problem and you have to dig in there and find out where that’s at and build back relationships from there.”
Diaz honored ... again
Edwin Diaz earned American League reliever of the month for the fourth time this season.
Yes, the fourth time. They might as well name it after him now.
Diaz is the first player since the Angels’ Mike Trout (2014) to win four player of the month awards in the same season. Diaz joins Edgar Martinez (five-time AL player of the month) and Ichiro Suzuki (four-time AL rookie of the month and one AL player of the month) as the only Mariners to earn five career monthly awards.
So ... how about an AL Cy Young award? Diaz entered Tuesday with 52 saves this season, which has only happened eighth other times in MLB history. The next closest player this year is Colorado’s Wade Davis, who has 38 saves.
“I don’t know about that,” Diaz said. “That’s the people talking about it. I just have to do my job and win games and help the team to make the playoffs. If they think I’m in that conversation (for Cy Young) I would feel happy.”
Servais thinks he should be.
“Relievers typically don’t get it because the bulk for the starters is there and the innings, but if there’s any guy who should be in the discussion it should be Eddie,” Servais said. “I think he should get a few votes and I think he will. Certainly in my mind there has been no more valuable pitcher from where I sit every night.”
Diaz has 115 strikeouts in 66 1/3 innings and a 1.90 ERA. Only the Brewers’ Josh Hader (116 Ks) has more strikeouts as a reliever than Diaz this season.
His .157 opponent batting average is the lowest in American League history among pitchers with at least 45 save opportunities in a season.
And all that and Diaz said he’s still not feeling worn out, even though he’s already thrown more innings than he did all of last season.
“I feel great, man,” Diaz said. “I’ve worked out a lot this year and this season I’ve worked a lot to be ready in September. This is the toughest month for pitchers because your arm gets tired and you’re tired, but I wanted to be ready.
“I work a lot and I get my massages and my arm care. I try to stay in the same routine every day and that’s how I’ve stayed healthy all year and stayed strong all year.”
The Mariners recalled three players from Triple-A Tacoma after the Rainiers season ended on Monday — first baseman Daniel Vogelbach, infielder Gordon Beckham and right-hander Casey Lawrence.
Vogelbach, though, will not be in the lineup until he’s medically cleared, Servais said, because he strained his hamstring in a Rainiers game after running past a stop sign at third base.
The 25-year-old hit .290 with a .434 on-base percentage with Triple-A Tacoma this season and hit 20 home runs and 16 doubles. With the Mariners Vogelbach has hit .212 (14-for-66) in 25 games.
Beckham hit .302 with a .400 on-base percentage for the Rainiers . Lawrence went 7-5 with one save and a 3.31 ERA (36 ER, 98.0 IP) with 89 strikeouts and 13 walks.
The Mariners have 35 players now on their active roster. Until September they can have 25 players, but are allotted 40 for the final month of the season.
“It’s a lot of bodies,” Servais said. “Most of these guys have been here at some point in the season with us so you kind of know the personalities. And the guys coming up, they understand where we are at in the season and we’re still fighting for our playoff lives and they are just looking to help in any way they can.”
Right-hander Mike Leake (8-9, 4.25 ERA) starts the finale of the Mariners’ three-game series against the Orioles in a 7:10 p.m. Wednesday night game at Safeco Field. Baltimore will start right-hander Andrew Cashner (4-13, 4.86 ERA).
The game will broadcast on Root Sports and 710-AM radio.