KANSAS CITY -- The Mariners activated third baseman Adrian Beltre on Tuesday, creating the roster spot by designating backup infielder Chris Woodward for assignment. Beltre has been sidelined since June 28, three days before he had surgery to remove a bone spur from his left shoulder. Seattle has 10 days to trade, release or option Woodward to the Minor Leagues.
It came down to either Woodward or third baseman Jack Hannahan remaining with the team and the other returning home. "Without knowing if Adrian will need a day off every two or three days," manager Don Wakamatsu said, "Hannahan gives us an option there. He also can play first base and gives us a left-handed bat off the bench." The move leaves the Mariners without an experienced backup for the middle-infield positions, but Wakamatsu is confident that Hannahan could fill in at shortstop for a short period of time. "Overall, I just think he gives us more options," Wakamatsu said. "Woody did a nice job for us." Hannahan, acquired from the Athletics on July 11, is batting .268 with two home runs and six RBIs in 18 at-bats with the Mariners. Woodward was promoted from Triple-A Tacoma on June 18 when second baseman Jose Lopez went on bereavement leave. He made his Mariners debut the following night against the D-backs and went 2-for-4 with stolen base. It was Woodward's first big league game since Sept. 28, 2007. Woodward batted .239 (16-for-67) with five RBIs in 20 games. He had two or more hits in five of the 19 games he started. The 33-year-old said that if he clears waivers, he would return to Triple-A Tacoma. The Mariners' offense should get a shot in the arm with Beltre back in the lineup. "It will be good to get out there -- get the first game out of the way -- and hopefully I'll be in there for the rest of the season," Beltre said prior to Tuesday night's series opener against the Royals. "It was hard [being a spectator]." The Mariners went 15-15 during Beltre's absence, dropping from three games out of first place in the American League West to 10 games out. Beltre said his shoulder "feels pretty good, better than it did after the first time." He had surgery on the same shoulder last September, but a spur grew back. "We'll see how it goes today in the game, and hopefully I can keep playing," he said.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.