Mariners Insider Blog

Gamel and Valencia return to Mariners’ lineup but new questions surround Smyly

Lefty Drew Smyly won’t pitch a simulated game Wednesday as previously planned.
Lefty Drew Smyly won’t pitch a simulated game Wednesday as previously planned. AP

Left fielder Ben Gamel and first baseman Danny Valencia returned Tuesday to the Mariners’ lineup, but there are renewed questions regarding left-hander Drew Smyly’s recovery from an elbow injury.

General manager Jerry Dipoto confirmed Smyly suffered a setback in his recovery and won’t to pitch two simulated innings, as previously planned, prior to Wednesday’s game against Philadelphia at Safeco Field.

Previous plans called for that simulated game to be the final step in Smyly’s recovery before departing on a minor-league rehab assignment in anticipation of returning July 17-19 from the disabled list.

Smyly, 28, opened the season on disabled list after being diagnosed in late March as having a strained flexor bundle in his elbow.

Valencia, 32, returned to the lineup after missing two games because of a sore right wrist, which he first suffered May 19 on a slide at third on a triple.

“It’s good enough,” he said. “I can still feel it, but I’ve been dealing with it since it happened.”

Valencia is batting .273 with seven homers and 39 RBIs in 69 games, including .315 with three homers and 23 RBIs in 30 games since the injury.

Gamel, 25, missed just one game because of what manager Scott Servais characterized as a lymph-node infection.

“He got on antibiotics the last couple of days,” Servais said. “He felt better (Monday), and he’ll be in there tonight.”

Smyly, 28, opened the season on disabled list after being diagnosed in late March as having a strained flexor bundle in his elbow.

Valencia, 32, returned to the lineup after missing two games because of a sore right wrist, which he first suffered May 19 on a slide at third on a triple.

"It’s good enough," he said. "I can still feel it, but I’ve been dealing with it since it happened."

Valencia is batting .273 with seven homers and 39 RBIs in 69 games, including .315 with three homers and 23 RBIs in 30 games since the injury.

Gamel, 25, missed just one game because of what Servais characterized as a lymph-node infection.

"He got on antibiotics the last couple of days," Servais said. "He felt better (Monday), and he’ll be in there tonight."

Gamel confirmed: "I’m good. Good to go."

Even though Gamel’s .346 average, prior to Tuesday, was eight plate appearances shy of qualifying for the American League leaders, he nonetheless leads the league in batting.

Adding an 0-for-8 to Gamel’s numbers would still leave him with the league’s best average.

Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners

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