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Michael Saunders departs game after slamming into wall, diagnosed with shoulder sprain

Apr 10, 2013, 10:49 PM EDT

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Michael Saunders crashed almost head-on into the outfield wall on Wednesday night at Safeco Field while running down a Jose Altuve warning-track fly. He laid on the ground for several minutes before eventually walking off the field with his right arm hanging limply at his side. It looked like a right shoulder injury — one that might be pretty serious.

Saunders entered Wednesday’s game against the Astros hitting .286/.333/.500 with one home run, five RBI and three stolen bases through 34 plate appearances. The injury happened in the top of the first inning, so he neither damaged nor improved that stat line.

Saunders showed major signs of promise with the Mariners in 2012, tallying 19 home runs, 21 stolen bases and 57 RBI in 139 games. It’s going to really hurt if he’s out for a significant period of time.

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UPDATE, 11:10 PM ET: Larry Stone of the Seattle Times reports that Saunders has been diagnosed with a right shoulder sprain. He will be examined by the Mariners’ team physician on Thursday.

  1. hittfamily - Apr 11, 2013 at 1:49 AM

    Glad to hear it was just a sprain. It took me back to my last play ever. My college career ended on a similiar play. I tore a bunch of stuff. My shoulder would pop out of place both to the front and back, extremely easily. I don’t remember what all I tore, but I had a new surgery (10 years ago) called a “Bristow (e) Capsular”. Labrum, Cuff and Capsule if I remember right. My shoulder has never been the same.

    Interestingly enough, the surgeon who did it said he operated on Branson’s own Andy Williams, who got drunk and fell out of a golf cart, tearing his rotator cuff.

  2. denny65 - Apr 11, 2013 at 3:32 AM

    Saunders’ loss, even for just a few days (I hope) will hurt the Ms. And the Mariners at the moment are hurtin’ aplenty. Spring training buzz of “AL West champs!” has been ever-so-quickly replaced by claims of “hey, its a competitive division!” because right now it looks like the Ms are headed for fifth place.

    Montero has forgotten how to hit, Ackley is getting worse by the day, Smoak is proving he doesn’t belong in the Majors, Seager is spotty, at best, Ryan and Gutierrez are showing they’re not defensive wizards, Bay looks overwhelmed and is regaining his Mets’ form, the pitching staff (except King Felix) doesn’t belong in the Majors. You know your team is in trouble when a journeyman hitter (Morse) and a 39-year-old utility player (Ibanez) are leading your team.

    Oh, and then there’s “The Juggler” Wedge, who thinks good managing is defined as how many times you can put a different lineup on the field.

    • hittfamily - Apr 11, 2013 at 3:53 AM

      In all fairness, only in Seattle were they thinking “AL West champs”. Adding Jason Bay and Raul Ibanez weren’t going to make them a better team than the A’s, Angels, and Rangers.

  3. seattlenative57 - Apr 11, 2013 at 4:12 AM

    Please, let’s not get it twisted. Nobody, I repeat, nobody was whispering or predicting an AL West pennant for this team. It is widely known this is a bridge year to 2014 and hopefully contending before 2015. The minor league system is fairly healthy and about to produce some MLB quality talent this summer or early next year. This season the Ms core players have one more year of experience and will hopefully continue to grow. The early results are mixed ten days into the season. But it’s WAY too early to predict success or failure. Give ‘em at least 50 games or so fergawdsake before predicting doom and gloom. Baseball is a game of failure mixed in with moments of success and achievement. Condor has been a bright spot and hopefully will continue to be after recovering from this injury. Pitching is this teams biggest challenge and its success will depend on getting that figured out, which may take time. It should be cleared up next year for sure. Help is on the way.

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