The Mariners Thursday activated 1B Ryon Healy from the disabled list and sent down 1B Dan Vogelbach to AAA Tacoma. Healy was available in Cleveland, where the Mariners (13-10), who have won series against the Rangers and White Sox on this road trip, were to begin a four-game series against the AL Central Division-leading Indians (13-9) at 3:10 p.m. PT.
Healy sprained his right ankle April 9 in a weight-room accident. In four rehab games at AA Arkansas, he was five for 15 with a homer and six RBIs. Before his injury, he was having a miserable regular season start, with two hits in 22 at-bats.
Vogelbach, who led all of MLB in spring training with a .405 Cactus League batting average and made the opening-day roster, couldn’t keep up the pace in the regular season, hitting .204 with two homers, five RBIs, 21 strikeouts and seven walks. Compared to Healy, Vogelbach is a bit of a defensive liability.
Healy’s return means the Mariners now have the original lineup they intended out of spring training. The bench, however, remains an object of some controversy, where Ichiro remains the fourth outfielder.
He has nine singles in 36 at-bats (.250) with two walks and five strikeouts. At 44, his routes on a few fly balls have been dubious. But this week when the Mariners activated LF Ben Gamel, the Mariners chose to send down Guillermo Heredia, 27, despite his .310 average as a part-time starter.
Manager Scott Servais said at the time the club was about to face seven right-handed starters in a row, making Ichiro’s left-handed bat more serviceable.
No more roster moves are anticipated at least until a six-game homestand begins May 1 against the Athletics and Angels.