Jaso not in Mariners' lineup for St. Pete return

Jaso not in Mariners' lineup for St. Pete return

ST. PETERSBURG -- Mariners catcher John Jaso returned to Tampa Bay on Monday for the first time since he was traded to Seattle over the offseason, while former Mariners backup Chris Gimenez is now filling that role for the Rays.

The two exchanged greetings with their former teammates before Monday's series opener, though neither was in the lineup.

Gimenez has played seven games for Tampa Bay, hitting .292 with two RBIs in 24 at-bats as the backup to Jose Molina. Jaso has strictly been used as a designated hitter and pinch-hitter for Seattle and is batting .294 with one home run and six RBIs in 17 at-bats.

Jaso was regarded more for his bat than his defense in Tampa Bay, where he hit .245 with 10 home runs and 71 RBIs in 203 games over the past four seasons. Seattle manager Eric Wedge said he could see some time behind the plate, but will continue to go primarily with Miguel Olivo and Jesus Montero in that role.

"I'd like to, but right now with trying to get Olivo going and getting Montero in there from time to time it's just hard for us," Wedge said. "At some point in time, he'll get a little time back there.

"He's a pro. He comes to the ballpark and prepares every day. He's somebody you can have up there late in a game who can turn a fastball around or get a big hit for you. There's a lot he offers."