M's notebook: Snelling back to stay?
The low point could have been 2002, when Chris Snelling tore an ACL. Or it could have been 2003, when he broke the hamate bone in his right...
Seattle Times staff reporter
CHICAGO — The low point could have been 2002, when Chris Snelling tore an ACL. Or it could have been 2003, when he broke the hamate bone in his right hand. Ditto for 2004 (torn ligament in his right wrist) or the start of the 2005 season (torn meniscus in his right knee).
Too many injuries to choose from.
"Every day was a low point," Snelling said after the Mariners recalled him from Class AAA Tacoma yesterday.
While Snelling's persistence on the comeback trail has earned him two call-ups this season, manager Mike Hargrove was more impressed by the way Snelling handled the last month. The Mariners recalled Snelling July 3, and didn't option him back to Tacoma until July 26. In the interim, Snelling barely played, collecting nine at-bats.
Instead of sulking, he returned to Tacoma and for another 10 days continued a season of torrid hitting with a .419 average in eight games. His .370 average and 46 runs batted in for the Rainiers this season eased the Mariners' concerns about trading outfielder Randy Winn. And it earned Snelling what he's waited for the last three years — a chance to become the Mariners' everyday left fielder, starting last night against the White Sox.
"Did it impress me?" Hargrove said of Snelling's response to his demotion to Tacoma. "Yes. Did it surprise me? No. Mentally, he's pretty tough. ... It impressed me that he did [well at Tacoma] because he spent, what, two weeks without hardly even playing."
Hargrove backed away from calling this Snelling's "big chance." Snelling refused to speculate.
"I mean, I have a different outlook on baseball, seeing I didn't play for 2 ½ years," Snelling said. "There was a time when I didn't think I'd play again."
And with that, Snelling glanced at the reporters gathered around his locker.
"We golden?" he asked.
Time to find out.
Reliever Shigetoshi Hasegawa was fined an undisclosed amount for intentionally hitting Cleveland outfielder Grady Sizemore last week. Indians manager Eric Wedge (one game), bench coach Robby Thompson (one game), starter Kevin Millwood (five games) and closer David Riske (four games) were also suspended.
Asked why he wasn't suspended, Hasegawa played it coy.
"Because I'm a nice guy," he said, smiling. "They know it's not on purpose."
He said he might appeal the fine.
Reliever Jeff Nelson returned from bereavement leave. He said he stayed home and watched his kids while his wife went to England after her father's death.
Nelson had trouble recognizing the new-look roster after his return.
"It's like spring training again," he said. "I couldn't even keep track of what all went on. We made so many moves in the last week, I had no idea."
• Outfielder Jamal Strong and reliever Masao Kida were optioned to Tacoma to make room for Snelling and Nelson.
• Barring setbacks, Jamie Moyer will start today against Chicago's Mark Buehrle in a matchup of left-handers. Moyer has been suffering from lower-back stiffness for the first time in his career.
Jeff Harris, who pitched five scoreless innings of emergency relief in his major-league debut Tuesday, gets his first start tomorrow.
• Ichiro continued the longest hitting drought of his career, going 0 for 3 with a walk. He's in an 0-for-22 skid.
• Yorvit Torrealba became the Mariners' seventh catcher this season when he started last night. He was a pinch-runner Wednesday.
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.
(Courtesy of LeMay — America's Car Museum) New LeMay exhibit to look at NASCAR LeMay — America's Car Museum in Tacoma will look at the wil...
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