4/12/2013 10:04 P.M. ET
Chavez hits leadoff against Rangers Friday
By Greg Johns / MLB.com
SEATTLE -- Veteran outfielder Endy Chavez was batting leadoff for the Mariners on Friday night against the Rangers, immediately inserted into that role after being called up from Triple-A Tacoma the night before.
Chavez, 35, was added to the roster after Michael Saunders went on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained shoulder. With Franklin Gutierrez needing a day off, manager Eric Wedge called on the 12-year veteran, who was hitting .429 after six games in Tacoma.
"I've been playing, so I'm ready," said Chavez, who signed a Minor League deal with the Mariners late in spring after being released by the Royals. "I knew it could be awhile, but if these guys needed me, I'd be here. I never thought it would be this fast."
Chavez has played in 975 Major League games. Of his 601 starts, 430 have come in center field and he's led off 225 times. Wedge didn't have a lot of options when he was making out his lineup, but Chavez fit the bill.
"Our two former leadoff hitters, one is on the bench today and the other is banged up," said Wedge. "Endy has done a lot of that. He's an experienced guy."
Chavez was inserted as a pinch runner in the eighth inning on Thursday and wound up getting tagged out at the plate by catcher A.J. Pierzynski on a suicide squeeze bunt by Brendan Ryan.
Chavez said he double-checked with third-base coach Jeff Datz after seeing the squeeze sign.
"I was ready. I knew what was going on and what we were doing," Chavez said. "It was pretty close, but I think they made the throw in time. He blocked the plate with his foot, so I tried to kick it out of there, but they had time to tag me before I got in there."
Harang to start Tuesday against Tigers
SEATTLE -- The Mariners wasted no time moving veteran Aaron Harang into the rotation, with manager Eric Wedge announcing on Friday that the newly acquired right-hander will start Tuesday against the Tigers at Safeco Field.
The move was made shortly after Wedge and pitching coach Carl Willis watched Harang throw a 40-pitch bullpen session. Harang was acquired from the Rockies on Thursday in a trade for Minor League pitcher Steven Hensley.
Blake Beavan will move into the bullpen in a long relief role, with Harang taking his spot.
"He's a veteran guy and he knows what he needs to do to go out and be successful," Wedge said. "He has a great feel for himself, he's had a tremendous amount of success at the big league level. He had 31 starts last season and had a pretty good year [with the Dodgers]."
Wedge said moving Beavan to the bullpen provides a needed long man for a relief crew now minus Kameron Loe, who was designated for assignment on Thursday to make room for Harang.
"Hopefully it's a win-win for us," Wedge said.
Beavan won 11 games last year for the Mariners, but has struggled in two starts this season with an 8.44 ERA and opponents batting .348 against him.
"He's still a young pitcher figuring it out," said Wedge. "He needs to continue to improve. Sometimes when you move somebody to the bullpen it's a different look and feel. Maybe that helps him along the way, too."
Rookie Brandon Maurer, who lasted just two-thirds of an inning in his last start and is lugging an early 16.20 ERA, will remain in the rotation for now.
"I like his arsenal of pitches and his stuff," Wedge said. "He's a young guy just getting his feet wet and I believe you've got to give him a little bit of time. Blake is a little further along experience-wise, but you have to like the stuff of Maurer. And each time he goes out there, you'll see him continue to figure things out and improve. You've got to stick with guys."
Harang, an 11-year veteran with a career record of 105-104 and a 4.19 ERA, said he was just happy to finally know where he'll be playing after getting dealt from the Dodgers to the Rockies and now Seattle in the past week.
"It's just nice to get back out and be doing it on a big league field," Harang said after his bullpen session. "I was throwing this last week at San Diego State when I was home, just trying to stay sharp and ready to go. I threw five innings against live hitters one day and a bullpen on Sunday, just making sure to keep my arm strength up and stay as sharp as possible."
Morse's fractured finger feeling better
SEATTLE -- Michael Morse had his broken little finger taped to the ring finger on his right hand Friday, but said the swelling had gone down considerably since he got hit by a 95 mph fastball by Rangers reliever Tanner Scheppers in Thursday's 4-3 loss.
Morse is expected to miss somewhere from 3-7 days, an estimate the Mariners are sticking with after seeing him on Friday.
"All the tests have been pretty positive," manager Eric Wedge said. "We'll take another look at him in the next couple days and go from there. All things considered, we dodged a bullet. We'll just see how it goes day-to-day."
Morse was tied for the American League lead in homers going into Friday's games, but will be sitting for at least the rest of the Rangers series and likely beyond.
"The swelling has gone down, I think that's the main part," Morse said. "Once that goes down more, it'll be tolerable. It still hurts, but it's my pinky, so I'm not worried about it. I think once the swelling goes down, the pain will be OK."
Morse said the little finger on his right hand doesn't actually grip the bat when he swings, which is one big positive, and also the main reason it took the brunt of the ball.
"Luckily for me, I overlap my pinky, so I don't really use it," he said. "So that works out to my benefit. A couple days, I should be fine."
• With an off-day on Monday and Harang getting his first start on Tuesday, Wedge said the rest of the rotation would just be pushed back one day. That means Felix Hernandez's next start will be Wednesday against the Tigers at Safeco Field, with Hisashi Iwakuma closing out the homestand on Thursday afternoon against Detroit.
• Mariners leadoff hitters had 12 RBIs in the first 11 games of the season, the most in the Majors. Gutierrez had eight, with Saunders adding three and Jason Bay one.
• Going into Friday's game, the Mariners had hit .343 (12-for-35) with runners in scoring position in their four wins and .059 (3-for-51) in their seven losses. Much of that production has come from Kendrys Morales, who leads the team at .556 (5-for-9).
• Morales was tied for third in walks going into Friday's action. Morales had seven free passes, trailing only Josh Willingham of the Twins and Albert Pujols of the Angels with nine.