OAKLAND -- Mariners right fielder Michael Saunders has reported to the club's training facility in Peoria, Ariz., to begin working out as he returns from a viral infection that has sidelined him nearly two weeks.
With the Minor League regular seasons having ended Monday, Saunders will work out and play in some simulated game action as he attempts to work himself back into playing condition after losing about 12 pounds with the illness.
"He's down there taking [batting practice], fly balls, working out, facing some living pitching," manager Lloyd McClendon said Tuesday. "We're trying to get him ready. I don't know if it's going to happen or not, but we're trying."
Saunders, 27, was on a Minor League rehab stint with Triple-A Tacoma recovering from a strained oblique in his left side when he came down with the illness. He hit .276 with six home runs and 28 RBIs in 65 games for the Mariners before going on the 15-day disabled list with an oblique strain July 11.
If he can get healthy, Saunders could be added to the Mariners' roster at any point in September now that rosters can be expanded, and he remains eligible for postseason play since he was on the 40-man roster on the DL as of Aug. 31.