Heredia shut down to rest nagging shoulder

Rookie center fielder hit .249 with 24 RBIs

Heredia shut down to rest nagging shoulder

OAKLAND -- Rookie center fielder Guillermo Heredia will be shut down for the final five games of the season to rest a nagging right shoulder injury, Mariners manager Scott Servais said Tuesday.

With Jarrod Dyson already sidelined following season-ending sports hernia surgery, right fielder Mitch Haniger will slide over to handle most of the remaining center-field duties, with September callup Jacob Hannemann also available.

Heredia, a 26-year-old rookie out of Cuba, posted a .249/.315/.337 line with six home runs and 24 RBIs in 123 games and played strong defense. He split time early in the year in left field, then took over in center when Dyson went down in mid-August.

Heredia robs grand slam

Heredia was hitting .274 at the start of September, but batted just .132 over his final 21 games. He said the shoulder issue initially occurred last season when he felt like he dislocated it diving back to first on a pickoff play, then it was re-aggravated on a diving attempt at a ball in the outfield in Houston on the last road trip.

Despite the tough finish, Heredia thought he made big strides in his first full season in the Majors.

"Obviously it's really good to get out there and play on a regular basis," he said through interpreter Fernando Alcala. "I'm thankful to the organization and leadership for allowing me to get this much playing time. It's helped advance my career tremendously. Overall I think it was a pretty acceptable season."

Heredia is flying back to Seattle on Wednesday to have the shoulder checked out, but said he didn't know yet if it will need to be surgically repaired before he heads home to Miami for the offseason.

Rotation shuffled for final series

With the playoffs no longer in the picture, Servais said Felix Hernandez and Mike Leake will be pulled out of the rotation this weekend in Anaheim. Rookies Marco Gonzales and Andrew Moore will instead start Friday and Saturday against the Angels.

James Paxton is tentatively scheduled to start the season finale on Sunday, though Servais said that could change if the lefty doesn't look completely healthy in Tuesday night's start against the A's.

Servais noted that Hernandez has been dealing with his shoulder issues much of the year, while Leake has been working through a sore lat muscle. Both would pitch if a Wild Card berth were still on the line.

Felix caps frustrating '17 on high note

"It wasn't hurting him or anything, but Felix just kind of had that dead arm at the end of the year," Servais said of Hernandez's final start in Monday's 7-1 win over the A's. "I don't know what the benefit would be of running him out there right now. We have young pitchers we want to take a look at, with Gonzales and Moore. It gives them a chance to get a clean start, prepare for it and go from there."

Hernandez's impressive outing

Worth noting

• Servais is still hoping to get shortstop Jean Segura back on Friday in Anaheim after keeping him sidelined through the A's series to rest the right middle finger he sprained last Saturday.

• Entering Tuesday, 36 of Nelson Cruz's 37 home runs have come while he's been at designated hitter. The only Mariner to have hit more home runs in a season at DH is Edgar Martinez, with 37 in 2000.

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