Mariners Insider Blog

Monday's line-ups, official game notes and pregame Eric Wedge comments vs. the Orioles

4-29 -- lineup

There was a lot of consternation on Twitter - when isn't there - about Eric Wedge not having Dustin Ackley in the line-up today. Just over a week ago the Twitter anger was that Ackley was IN the line-up and not being sent to down to Triple A or being jettisoned as a bust. Since then Ackley has put together a nine-game hitting streak, and is hitting .406 (13-for-32) during that span.

So why isn't he playing today? Why!? Why?!

Well, the Orioles are starting lefty Zach Britton and Wedge decided to give Ackley a day off. Wedge said before the season and early on that they were planning to give Ackley periodic days off in a way to keep his ankle healthy. If you recall, Ackley had a major bone spur surgically removed from the ankle in the offseason. And while the surgery is simple, there needs to be maintenance. If not, the bone spur can come back.  So Wedge looked at today as way to give Ackley a sort of day off with the lefty on the mound. I would expect Ackley to be available to pinch hit in the game. And we will probably see that.

"We want to give him sporadic days off," Wedge said. "But yeah, it's because there's a lefty on the mound. It's not that I won't play him against lefties. He was the odd man out today."

Ackley has played in 25 of 28 games this season, so that keeps him on pace to play just under 150 games.

As expected, Michael Saunders was activated off the disabled list today. Carlos Peguero was sent back to Triple A Tacoma.

Saunders is back in the line-up immediately. You can expect him to stay at the lead-off spot for a while.

How much will he play?

"I told him lets just take it day by day," Wedge said. "My plan is to have him play every day."

On the injury front ...

Franklin Gutierrez is out indefinitely with a strained hamstring. Wedge said, "There is nothing to report" on his injury.  Reliever Josh Kinney (back) is throwing in Arizona and is moving closer to heading out on a rehab assignment. Starting pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (triceps) has also started throwing as well.

Elsewhere ... 

Mariners minor league catching coordinator John Stearns is here at Safeco Field. He will hang out with the team the next few days and then take the place of third base coach Jeff Datz on the upcoming road trip. The team announced that Datz had been diagnosed with the cancer on Saturday. Datz will stay in Seattle for treatment.

The Mariners have Hisashi Iwakuma slated to start on Sunday in Toronto. That would give him two extra days rest to heal the blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand.