Mariners feel Martin's DL stint won't be long

Mariners feel Martin's DL stint won't be long

SEATTLE -- Mariners manager Scott Servais said Saturday that center fielder Leonys Martin's strained left hamstring is expected to keep him sidelined for 7-10 days and that he should be fully healed and ready to play when his 15-day disabled list stint ends on June 10.

Martin was placed on the DL prior to Friday night's 7-2 loss to the Twins, with the move retroactive to Thursday. He felt the leg tighten up when sliding into second on a stolen base in the fourth inning of Wednesday's 13-3 win over the A's.

It was a tough call to put the 28-year-old on the DL, since he'd hit .500 (15-for-30) over his previous nine games, was playing a key defensive role in center field, had recently moved into the leadoff spot and already has launched a career-high nine home runs.

But Servais said once the doctor estimated Martin wouldn't be ready to play for more than a week, the decision was made to recall Stefen Romero so the club wasn't playing a man short for that long.

"Hamstring and oblique injuries with baseball players are always delicate," Servais said. "I think it's best to stay on the cautious side where we are at in the season. If you're sitting in mid- or late-August with a month to go, you might look at things a little differently. But where we are, you hate to play short-handed. You can do it for 3-4 days, but when you start looking at 7-10 days of playing without a guy, that's tough. It takes a toll."

The Mariners are dealing with the double whammy of also losing shortstop Ketel Marte to a sprained left thumb last weekend. Marte is in a similar situation to Martin, with the Mariners electing to put him on the 15-day DL even though his injury won't keep him out that full time.

Marte hit in the batting cage for a second straight day on Saturday and also took ground balls during batting practice without any problems. He's slated to join Triple-A Tacoma to play three or four rehab games when the Rainiers return home next Tuesday, then rejoin the Mariners as soon as he's eligible on June 6 when they open their next homestand.

Servais acknowledged that losing his two fastest players impacts the lineup.

"Obviously those are kind of our speed/energy type of players," he said. "It does changes things a little. You can't just keep running with other guys when that's not part of their game. I don't really want guys to change their game. Just do what you do and hopefully that will be enough."

Servais said defensively the team will be more aggressive in shifting its outfielders without Martin in the middle.

"Our corner guys have been kind of stationary because they let Leonys cover so much ground, but you'll see us moving the center fielder a little more and playing the odds a little bit to get our guys in the right spot because we just don't have anybody with that kind of range out there," Servais said. "We'll try to do the best we can there. But we have to score runs, we've got to pitch, we've got to do all the things to pick it up a little bit because of the loss of those two players."

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.