A ankle sprained during a clubhouse fall has put DH Nelson Cruz on the 10-day disabled list, the latest in a breathtaking series of Mariners’ health setbacks. The club Tuesday called up utility man Taylor Motter to fill the roster spot ahead of the two-game inter-league series that was to begin at 1:35 p.m. Tuesday in San Francisco.
Cruz sprained his ankle Saturday when his plastic cleats slipped on the plastic step covers on the dugout stairwell that lead to Safeco Field’s indoor batting cage.
Said manager Scott Servais of his immediate reaction to hearing Saturday’s news: “I almost vomited.”
Cruz hit homers in each of the Mariners’ first two games, helping take two of three in the season-opening series from Cleveland, the defending AL Central champ. But now he joins C Mike Zunino, LF Ben Gamel and starting pitcher Erasmo Ramirez on the DL, all with oblique-muscle strains of varying degrees.
Motter, 28, was the final player cut as the team left spring training. He hit .297 with seven doubles, a triple, two home runs and 14 RBI in 25 Cactus League games. He appeared in 92 games with Seattle last season, hitting .198 with 12 doubles, seven home runs and 26 RBI.
Cruz wouldn’t have started in the National League park. He will miss three games in Minnesota and probably all three in Kansas City on the eight-game road trip, and is eligible to return for a seven-game homestand starting April 11 against Oakland.