Segura to DL, Freeman up from Triple-A

Mariners will use Motter as their primary shortstop

Segura to DL, Freeman up from Triple-A

SEATTLE -- Shortstop Jean Segura, who was one of the Mariners' bright spots over the first week of the season, was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring Tuesday and infielder Mike Freeman was called up from Triple-A Tacoma to fill his roster spot.

Utility man Taylor Motter becomes the starting shortstop while Segura is on the DL. Freeman will handle the utility role and Jarrod Dyson will move into the leadoff spot in the lineup. The Mariners designated left-handed reliever Paul Fry for assignment to open a spot for Freeman on the 40-man roster.

Segura becomes the third significant winter addition to the team now on the DL. Starting pitcher Drew Smyly will miss the first two months of the season with an elbow issue and reliever Shae Simmons is still recovering from a strained elbow that occurred during Spring Training.

Segura's said he expects to be fully healed in 7-10 days. He exited Monday's 6-0 win over the Astros after the third inning when he felt the hamstring tighten early in the game.

"I felt it in my first at-bat, running down the line, I felt something pinch in my hamstring," he said. "I kept playing and got it stretched during the game. When I took my last at-bat, I knew something was wrong so I decided to tell the trainer to take me out because I didn't want to continue to play like that and get worse."

The 27-year-old hit .313 (10-for-32) with one homer, three RBIs, six runs and three stolen bases through Seattle's first eight games. Segura led the National League in hits (203) last year as a member of the D-backs.

Freeman's nice sliding catch

Manager Scott Servais said the strain is mild and he expects Segura to be ready to rejoin the team in 10 days, but acknowledged it was a tough blow.

"It's disappointing," Servais said. "He's off to a great start and we certainly love what he brings to our lineup and team. And he wants to be in there, but this is probably the right thing to do."

Servais said Motter will be the every-day shortstop in the interim. The 27-year-old, acquired from the Rays in November, was a shortstop in high school and Coastal Carolina University before converting to a utility role when he reached pro ball.

"We're all baseball players and want to play every day," Motter said. "I've accepted the role of being a utility guy here, knowing if somebody goes down I'll be ready to fill in. Hopefully, Jean gets better real soon. He's one of our main guys, top of the lineup, and we need him out there."

With Shawn O'Malley on the 10-day DL after having his appendix taken out and dealing with a shoulder issue at the end of camp, Freeman was the logical choice to be added as a versatile option who can handle any defensive position. He played 13 games with Seattle last season, batting .385 (5-for-13) and made several outstanding defensive plays after being claimed off waivers from the D-backs.

"It's unfortunate circumstances," said Freeman. "You never want to see somebody get hurt, especially a guy of Segura's caliber. He certainly means a lot to this team and I'll just try to help bridge that gap until he's back ready to go."

Fry, 24, made one appearance with Tacoma before being designated for assignment. The Mariners now have seven days to trade, release or outright him to the Minors.

Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)
An early-round pick in '17 fantasy drafts, Segura will leave a large hole in lineups during his disabled-list stay. But on the bright side, the 27-year-old has already provided solid evidence that last year's breakout was no fluke. For now, Segura owners in shallow leagues can check waivers for a fill-in option such as Marcus Semien or Yangervis Solarte. Those in deeper leagues can take a look at Joe Panik, Cesar Hernandez and Jorge Polanco.

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.