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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Mariners Injury Update: Michael Saunders, Willie Bloomquist, Corey Hart

By on 8/07/2014 04:15:00 PM

Seattle Mariners outfielder Michael Saunders will begin a rehab assignment on Thursday at Triple-A Tacoma, reports Greg Johns of Johns of adds that utility man Willie Bloomquist is not close to returning, while designated hitter Corey Hart has no structural damage in his injured right knee:

Saunders strained his left oblique on a check swing on July 10. The 27-year-old has been plagued by injuries throughout his career and missed some time earlier in the season with a shoulder injury.

The Mariners need Saunders back in the lineup as soon as possible, as he was putting up some of the best numbers on the team behind Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager. Saunders is batting a career-best .276/.327/.434 this season.

Chris Denorfia has been playing often in right field since the trade deadline, but he is a likely candidate to be platooned with someone when Saunders returns.

Bloomquist was placed on the disabled list on July 24 with a right knee contusion. Manager Lloyd McClendon said Bloomquist is not progressing well and will either need an extended period of rest or arthroscopic surgery.

While Bloomquist did not have a starting role, his absence leaves the Mariners a little short on infield depth. Bloomquist is batting .278/.297/.346 in 47 games this season, primarily as a backup shortstop and left fielder.

Hart headed back to the disabled list on August 2 with a bruised right knee. He has no structural damage and will rest for a few days before starting to think about a rehab assignment.

The 32-year-old missed all of last season following multiple knee surgeries and spent a lengthy amount of time on the disabled list earlier this year with a hamstring injury. Hart has struggled in 2014, batting .203/.278/.314.

Seattle reconfigured its outfield and designated hitter situation at the trade deadline, meaning Hart was unlikely to receive much playing time even before the injury. 

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