Marte to miss time with sprained left thumb

Unknown whether Mariners shortstop will land on disabled list

Marte to miss time with sprained left thumb

CINCINNATI -- The Mariners are expecting to be without shortstop Ketel Marte for the next few days, at least, and he could be headed to the disabled list after spraining his left thumb while sliding head first into second base on a steal attempt during Saturday's 4-0 win over the Reds at Great American Ball Park.

Marte was safe on the play in the fifth inning, but it didn't take him long to realize his thumb was not right. It's the same thumb he fractured last season while playing for Triple-A Tacoma. He stole third base without a throw later in the inning but immediately told third-base coach Manny Acta of his concern.

"When I took third, I told Manny, 'I think I broke my finger again,'" Marte said.

Shawn O'Malley replaced Marte defensively in the bottom of the inning. X-rays showed no fracture, and Marte was not wearing any kind of brace on his left hand when he spoke with reporters after the game.

"Not like last year. I don't feel like last year. I feel a little hurt now. It's part of the game," said Marte. "When I hit second, my finger went in a bad position."

Manager Scott Servais said the team would have to make a decision regarding Marte's spot on the roster quickly. The Mariners and Reds close out their three-game series Sunday, and then Seattle returns home to face the A's on Monday night to start an eight-game homestand.

O'Malley is the only healthy shortstop on the roster with Marte injured. Chris Taylor was scratched from the starting lineup for Tacoma on Saturday. If the Mariners decide to place Marte on the 15-day DL, Taylor would be an apparent replacement.

"He's going to miss a few days," Servais said of Marte. "That's the downside of today."

Marte is hitting .276/.307/.379 after going 1-for-3 on Saturday. He has hit safely in 21 of his last 28 games, and Servais was using him in the lead off spot during the first two games of this Interleague series in a National League ballpark.

Marte missed nearly six weeks last season due to the fracture. He was leading the Triple-A Pacific Coast League with a .343 average when he got hurt on May 31 last year. He made his Major League debut for the Mariners on July 31.

"I have to wait to see what decision they are going to make," said Marte. "If they are going to pull me out, I'm going to have to keep working."

Kevin Goheen is a contributor for MLB.com based in Cincinnati This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.