Trio played for Dominican Republic, expected back Tuesday
By Doug Miller
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Scott Servais made sure to watch some of the World Baseball Classic game between the United States and the Dominican Republic on Saturday night. With Mariners stars Nelson Cruz, Robinson Cano and Jean Segura all in uniform for their native Team Dominicana, Servais had keen interest in the outcome of the game.
After Team USA closed out a win, eliminating the Dominican team from the tournament, Servais immediately began thinking about regular days of Spring Training, with one-third of his Opening Day lineup coming back.
With the Mariners enjoying an off-day on Monday, Servais expects to see Cruz, Cano and Segura back Tuesday. He indicated he might start Segura that night against the A's -- as Segura wasn't as heavily used as Cruz and Cano in the Classic -- and play the other two Wednesday or Thursday.
"They're ready to go, obviously," Servais said. "They're ready to start the season tomorrow if you could. I'm sure they'd prefer it that way."
All three played well in the tournament. Segura hit .364 (4-for-11) with two doubles, three RBIs and a stolen base. Cruz hit .300 (6-for-20) with three home runs and five RBIs. Cano hit .300 (6-for-20) with a homer, a double and three RBIs.
"Hopefully we'll get the guys back in here, and back into the routine," Servais said. "Obviously these [Classic] games are high-intensity and very emotional, but I think it's important to get our guys back into a routine and in our clubhouse and ready to go."
Felix Hernandez, who played for recently eliminated Venezuela, is expected back Tuesday, and he should start Thursday against the Giants.
• Left-hander James Paxton threw in a Minor League game Sunday afternoon on a back field at the Mariners' complex in Peoria. He pitched 4 2/3 innings, throwing 80 pitches and allowing two runs on three hits with eight strikeouts and two walks.
"I definitely could have thrown more fastballs today, but we wanted to work on the curveball and the cutter and throwing them behind in counts," Paxton said. "I feel really good about where I'm at. I'm right where I should be."
• Mariners closer Edwin Diaz and Minor League right-hander Emilio Pagan are still in the World Baseball Classic playing for Puerto Rico, which faces the Netherlands in a tournament semifinal Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.
• Outfielder Jarrod Dyson, who has missed the last two days because of fatigue in his right leg, said Sunday morning he felt OK, but it would be "a couple more days" before he gets back in a game.
• Reliever Tony Zych, who had shoulder surgery last October, made another step toward returning to game action on Sunday, when he threw another batting-practice session. Servais said Zych came out of it well and could appear in a game this week.