Mariners Insider Blog

Mariners notebook: Marte diagnosed with mono, placed on disabled list

Mariners shortstop Ketel Marte has mononucleosis, and there in no timetable for his return to active duty.
Mariners shortstop Ketel Marte has mononucleosis, and there in no timetable for his return to active duty. AP

TORONTO — The news on shortstop Ketel Marte proved worse Friday than the Mariners anticipated: Mononucleosis.

"We did run some more tests on him," manager Scott Servais said, "and he has been diagnosed with some form of mono. No timetable yet. We are going to put him on the disabled list."

The Mariners, as expected, recalled utility infielder Luis Sardinas from Triple-A Tacoma prior to the game. He fills the spot on the 25-man roster created Wednesday when the Mariners traded pitcher Mike Montgomery to the Cubs.

Servais said Shawn O’Malley and Sardinas will split time at shortstop until Marte recovers. Marte was batting .273 and had a .299 on-base percentage in 74 games with 17 doubles, one homer and 19 RBIs.

"Does it affect us? Yes," Servais admitted. "He’s been our regular shortstop. But Sardinas is up here (now) with O’Malley, and those two will mix and match. They’ll share the duties. I don’t want to put too much on one guy.

"I think O’Malley has done a nice job for us in the three games that he’s filled in. Again, we’re not looking for the spectacular. Make the routine play and battle at the plate."

The Mariners are expected to recall a reliever, probably left-hander David Rollins, to replace Marte on the 25-man roster. Rollins was optioned Wednesday to Tacoma to clear space when Felix Hernandez returned from the disabled list.

Marte’s problems surfaced after Sunday’s game against the Astros when he complained of a sore throat and general achiness just two days after he suffered a mildly sprained right ankle on a slide at third base.

The Mariners opted to play short-handed — effectively no backup middle infielder — for their three games against the Chicago White Sox before opting to recall Sardinas. They had hoped Marte could return by the end of the weekend.

O’Malley served as the club’s utilityman since his May 15 recall from Tacoma. He entered Friday with a .218 average and .306 OBP in 42 games but was 12-for-44 (.273) over his last 22 games.

Sardinas opened this season on the big-league roster but batted just .190 in 25 games. He was batting .250 in 42 games at Tacoma.


An encouraging outing in his last start resulted in lefty Wade Miley getting at least one more turn in the rotation. He will start Sunday’s series finale against the Blue Jays.

Miley is 0-5 with a 5.60 ERA in his last five starts, but he held the Chicago White Sot to three runs in 1/3 innings Tuesday in a 6-1 loss.

"I hope he carries it into this outing," Servais said. "Tough team. Tough ballpark. But it’s a tough league. I just think that how he fits, and how his stuff works and how his mind works, he’d be better off staying in the rotation."

The decision effectively means lefty Wade LeBlanc will replace Montgomery as the bullpen’s long reliever. LeBlanc is 1-0 with a 3.63 ERA in four starts since arriving in a June 21 trade from Toronto.


The star-crossed career of left-hander Danny Hultzen, the second overall pick in the 2011 draft, appears to be over after another setback in his latest comeback effort.

An official announcement should come in the near future, but club officials privately acknowledge Hultzen won’t pitch again this year and is likely to pursue other career options.

Hultzen experienced renewed shoulder problems after two one-inning outings late month in the Arizona Rookie League. He hasn’t pitched regularly since he first experienced shoulder problems early in the 2013 season at Triple-A Tacoma.

Prior to his injury, Hultzen appeared to be on a fast track to the majors. He was 14-8 with a 2.82 ERA in 32 games prior to undergoing surgery on Oct. 1, 2013 to repair his labrum, shoulder capsule and rotator cuff.

The Mariners have already expressed interest in finding a job for Hultzen within the organization.


Right-hander Taijuan Walker threw a 25-pitch bullpen session Friday, and felt "great," in his latest effort to recover from tendinitis in his right foot. He is slotted for a simulated game Wednesday in Pittsburgh as his next test.

Right-hander Nick Vincent, meanwhile, continues to amp his workload as he seeks to recover from a strained muscle in his middle back. Barring setbacks, he could be throwing from a mound in a few days.

Walker hasn’t pitched since July 5, when discomfort in his foot forced his exit after four inning at Houston. Vincent’s last appearance was June 26.

Servais said Walker will likely make at least one minor-league rehab start before rejoining the rotation, and that Vincent will probably require a few rehab outings before returning to active duty.


Outfielder Brayan Hernandez is 7-for-21 (.333) in five games since his July 16 promotion to Peoria in the Arizona Rookie League. He previously batted .278 with five homers, 15 RBIs and 12 steals in 31 games in the Dominican Summer League.

Hernandez, 18, is one of the Mariners’ top international signings in recent years. A Venezuelan native, he received a $1.85 million bonus as a 16-year-old in 2014.


It was four years ago Saturday — July 23, 2012 — that the Mariners traded outfielder Ichiro Suzuki to the New York Yankees for two minor-league right-handers: Danny Farquhar and D.J. Mitchell.

The trade occurred while the Yankees were at Safeco Field for a three-game series. Suzuki simply walked down the hall to the visitors’ clubhouse. He started that night and went 1-for-4 against his former club.

Suzuki, 42, currently plays for Miami and entered the weekend with 2,996 career hits. The first 2,533 of those hits occurred in his 11 1/2 seasons with the Mariners.

Farquhar, 29, was 4-12 with 18 saves and a 3.85 ERA in 155 games for the Mariners from 2013-15 before getting traded last November to Tampa Bay. He is currently pitching at Triple-A Durham

Mitchell, 29, never made it to the big leagues with the Mariners. He is currently pitching for Bridgeport in the independent Atlantic League.


Toronto reinstated right-hander Marco Estrada and lefty Franklin Morales from the disabled list prior to the game. Estrada, who had been nursing a sore back, started Friday’s game. The Blue Jays cleared space by optioning lefty Aaron Loup and infielder Andy Burns to Triple-A Buffalo…the Mariners entered the weekend at 9-8 over their last 17 games but had made up five games on first-place Texas, which was 4-13 in that span…the Mariners are one of five clubs with four players who have 15 or more home runs (Nelson Cruz 23, Robinson Cano 22, Kyle Seager 18 and Adam Lind 15). The other four clubs with four 15-plus players are Baltimore and Cincinnati (five), and Detroit and Toronto (four)…the Mariners entered the weekend with a 13-6 record against American League East opponents.


The Mariners and Blue Jays continue their three-game series at 10:07 a.m. Pacific time Saturday at the Rogers Centre. Right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma (10-6 with a 4.01 ERA) will face Toronto knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (7-10, 4.11).

The game can be seen on Root Sports Northwest and heard on 710 ESPN.

Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners