Marte hits off tee, maps rehab plans

Marte hits off tee, maps rehab plans

SEATTLE -- Mariners shortstop Ketel Marte took 40 swings off a tee in the batting cage on Friday and said his sprained left thumb felt good and he expects to play three rehab games with Triple-A Tacoma next week and be ready to come off the 15-day disabled list by June 6.

Marte jammed his thumb while sliding into second base last Saturday in Cincinnati, but has made quick progress in his return and is projected to be ready as soon as his 15 days are up when the Mariners return from their next road trip.

"I swung the bat today and it felt 100 percent," said the 22-year-old Dominican. "I feel good. Next week, I'll be in Tacoma. I'm ready to go. I want to be back here real quick."

The switch-hitter said he took 20 swings from each side of the plate and will field some ground balls and play catch on Saturday. If all goes well, Marte said the tentative plan is for him to play three games for Tacoma next Tuesday through Thursday against Salt Lake at Cheney Stadium, with one game in the field and two as the designated hitter.

Manager Scott Servais was a little more cautious on the timetable, but agreed that everything is progressing well.

"Once we head out on the road trip [Wednesday], we'll see where he is at that point and he'll maybe go play a couple games," Servais said. "But I don't want to get ahead of ourselves. Let's see how it goes off the tee. But the swelling is out of there, his full range of motion is back and he's feeling good."

Martin has been one of Seattle's catalysts in its strong early start, batting .276 with nine doubles, two triples and a home run in 40 games and playing excellent defense. Luis Sardinas, a 23-year-old acquired from the Brewers last winter, was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on Wednesday and appears likely to play most of the games at shortstop for now with utility man Shawn O'Malley needing to help fill in for injured center fielder Leonys Martin.

WORTH NOTING

• When Adam Lind drove in six runs in Wednesday's 13-3 win over the A's, it was his fifth time with six or more RBIs in a game since 2009. The only other Major Leaguers who've had five or more games with six RBIs in that span are Nelson Cruz and Carlos Gonzalez, who've each done it six times.

Robinson Cano is one of four players in the Majors who led his team in batting average, home runs and RBIs going into Friday's games. The others were Yoenis Cespedes of the Mets, Hunter Pence of the Giants and Mike Trout of the Angels.

• The Mariners have guaranteed themselves a winning record now in both April and May, the first time they've had winning marks the first two months since 2003.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.