OF Greg Halman gets call to Seattle
Greg Halman might not have much playing time so far this season,
the result of a broken hand in early April, but the Seattle
Mariners saw enough.
Halman was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma late Thursday night and
was in uniform for Friday night’s game against Tampa Bay. He missed
48 games in April and May after being hit by a pitch on April 10
and breaking a bone in his left hand.
He replaces Michael Saunders, who was struggling with a .168
average in 45 games. Halman is a true center fielder and his
presence gives Seattle manager Eric Wedge more opportunity to give
Gold Glove center fielder Franklin Gutierrez additional breaks as
he continues to return from stomach troubles that sidelined him for
”We need to have a backup center fielder, a true center fielder
so when (Gutierrez) is not out there we can have a guy out there
who can run it down. We need a guy who can run it down in left
field from time to time,” Wedge said. ”Granted, it’s only a week
off the DL, but he was impressive to me this spring.”
Spring was nearly the only impression Seattle’s staff had of
Halman. In his fourth game, Halman was hit on the left hand by an
inside fastball. Halman didn’t want to believe it was broken,
despite the pain, and stayed in the game, stealing a base and going
out on defense before finally realizing he couldn’t continue.
Halman eventually had surgery to insert a plate and five screws
to stabilize the break.
”Right after it happened I was very focused on having a good
rehab and getting my hand back to 100 percent,” Halman said.
Halman made a pretty good statement on his health, homering on
the third pitch after coming off the disabled list last Sunday. In
his nine games with Tacoma, Halman hit .257.
Wedge hopes that Saunders can get his bat on track by playing
every day with the Rainiers.
”It’s not about him going down there and getting hits,” Wedge
said. ”It’s about him going down there and getting to the point
where he can be a consistent big-league hitter and have success up
here. The hits will come if he does that.”