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Michael Saunders on track to return early next week

Apr 24, 2013, 9:40 PM EST

michael saunders mariners getty Getty Images

Greg Johns of MLB.com reports that Mariners outfielder Michael Saunders is scheduled to spend the weekend on a minor league rehab assignment at Triple-A Tacoma before returning to Seattle’s active 25-man roster at some point early next week.

Saunders has been on the 15-day disabled list since suffering a right shoulder sprain when he crashed into the outfield wall at Safeco Field on April 11. He is eligible to be activated Friday but the M’s want him to get some tune-up at-bats in the minor leagues.

“Saunders definitely is headed in the right direction,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge told reporters on Wednesday afternoon. “I think he needs to play for a couple days [in the minors]. … We’ve definitely missed him. He’s a big part of this club.”

Saunders will play center field when he returns because Franklin Gutierrez is injured yet again.

The 26-year-old native of Canada was batting .286 with an .833 OPS, one home run, and five RBI and three stolen bases in 34 plate appearances before the sholder sprain. He had 19 homers and 21 steals in 2012.

  1. seahonky - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    It doesn’t matter. The Mariner’s season is already over. The mariners are worse than last year. Just get rid of Gutierrez. He’d be on the DL if he stubbed his toe. Get rid of Ryan too. He’s an automatic out when he’s at bat. I need to vent. This team is pathetic!

  2. farvite - Apr 25, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    Time for heads to roll in coffee land.

    .. Until Chuck and Howard are outed the changes won’t matter though.

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