The Mariners activated Leonys Martin from the 15-day disabled list on Friday, and sent down Luis Sardinas to make room on the club.
Martin has been riding the bench due to a strained hamstring. He took part in a simulated game Wedensday, but that was the extent of his rehab appearances. He was supposed to play with the Tacoma Rainiers on Thursday, but wet field concerns scratched that idea.
Jerry Dipoto, and most everyone else that follows the team, is really looking forward to the return of Martin, both for his offensive and defensive prowess. Said Dipoto via 710 ESPN:
"We wanted the opportunity yesterday to have him play center field defensively and watch him get his jumps and make sure he was challenged to get off the ball," Dipoto said. "But just watching him in the batter’s box, that I’m very comfortable is going to go very well. And today we’ll see what he does."
Prior to his injury, Martin was one of the hottest hitters on the Mariners. During the Month of May he hit .320/.388/.533 with five home runs, six stolen bases and a wRC+ of 155. Norichika Aoki has filled in during Martin’s time off, and he has been...well...serviceable?
Luis Sardinas will return to every day duty in Tacoma, and provide infield/utility depth in case of further injury. This means for now Shawn O’Malley, the pride of at least two of the Tri-Cities, holds onto the role of Swiss Army Knife.
With the Mariners opening a huge three game series tonight against red-hot, division leading Texas, Martin’s return could hardly be better timed. He provides a quality bat and the team’s only real centerfielder, allowing all the other players on the roster to return to their proper roles.
Welcome back, Leonys.