Seattle Mariners

Mariners’ Dee Gordon exits after hit by pitch; J.P. Crawford a late non-injury scratch in Tacoma

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The Mariners changed a lot in the offseason. Watch as fans struggle mightily on opening day to name as many players as they can on the roster.

Seattle Mariners second baseman Dee Gordon was removed from Thursday night’s series finale in New York with an apparent injury to his right wrist. He was hit by a 90 mph fastball in the third inning by Yankees starter J.A. Happ, and left the game immediately.

Mariners manager Scott Servais told reporters in New York following the game that X-rays were taken when Gordon came out of the game, but he did not have conclusive results. Servais said Gordon will likely undergo a CT scan for a better look Friday.

“He’s pretty sore,” Servais said. “Got him obviously very solid on the back of the forearm, so we’ll just have to wait and see what comes out of some more tests tomorrow.”

Gordon was replaced at second by rookie utility player Dylan Moore, who was not expected to play Thursday, Servais said. Moore was also tending to a sore wrist after being hit by a pitch Wednesday night in New York.

Mariners first baseman Edwin Encarnacion was moved to second in the bottom of the eighth, after Jay Bruce pinch hit for Moore in the top half of the inning. Encarnacion then seemed to roll his left wrist on a later play, but stayed in the game, and Servais was hopeful he was OK.

“We’ve got a few guys banged up right now,” Servais said. “Dylan Moore got hit by a pitch last night. He was very sore today. (We were) trying to stay away from him, but we needed to go to some guys to try to get through the game, and end up with Edwin playing second base, so not ideal.

“We’ve got to look at the roster quick tonight, and see what we’ve got as we head to Boston.”

Though no official moves had been made as of Friday morning, Triple-A Tacoma shortstop J.P. Crawford, often referred to as the Mariners’ shortstop of the future, was a late scratch from the Rainiers lineup Thursday night.

Crawford, 24, had a day off Wednesday night, but was expected to play Thursday. He was removed from the lineup about an hour before game time.

Crawford has reached base safely in all 31 games he’s played with the Rainiers this season, and is slashing at .319/.420/.457. He has 15 RBIs, seven doubles, three home runs and three stolen bases.

Following Monday night’s game in Tacoma, during which he finished 4-for-5 with a three-run homer and six RBIs, Crawford said he felt ready for a return to the majors. He last played in an MLB game last September with the Phillies.

“I’ve been ready,” he said. “I’ve just got to go out here, do my thing each day, and prove that I’m ready. Whenever the time comes, I’ll be ready.”

Should Crawford join the Mariners in Boston, and remain at shortstop — he’s appeared in just four games at second at the major league level — it could possibly cause a shuffle in the infield.

Tim Beckham, Seattle’s everyday shortstop, who beat Crawford out for the job this spring, has committed an MLB-leading 11 errors, and has played 80 games at second base across five major league seasons.

The Rainiers did not confirm whether Crawford had departed for a possible call-up in Boston, but manager Daren Brown said he believes Crawford’s game is in a good spot.

“He’s done what he needs to do,” Brown said. “He’s come here, he’s played solid defense for us. He’s swung the bat well. He’s done everything that we needed him to do to this point.

“I would say he’s done enough to be promoted at any time, whether injury is involved or not. It’s something I feel like he’s earned. If the time comes, he’s done what he needs to do to be ready.”

Shed Long, who did play in Thursday night’s Rainiers game, and went 1 for 4 with a two-run homer, following a grand slam the night before, was reportedly on a Friday morning flight to Boston to join the Mariners as well. He is slashing at .276/.350/.504 with five homers, five doubles, four triples and 21 RBIs in 32 games with Tacoma.

“It’s about swinging at good pitches,” Brown said. “We know he’s got power. He’s shown us the ability that he has just about getting better pitches to hit, laying off the ones that you can’t. When he gets in good spots, he can do some damage.”

Should Long join the club, his first appearance would be his MLB debut. This is his first season in Triple-A. He has utility potential to offer Seattle, and has played second, third and left field for the Rainiers this season.

Lauren Smith covers the Seattle Mariners for The News Tribune. She previously covered high school sports at TNT and The Olympian, beginning in 2015. She is a graduate of the University of Washington and Emerald Ridge High School.
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