July 25, 2009 in Sports

Beltre expects quicker return

Associated Press
 

SEATTLE – The Seattle Mariners may be getting a quicker-than-expected boost to their surprising playoff chase.

Gold Glove third baseman Adrian Beltre is hitting for the first time since shoulder surgery this weekend, and the mainstay in the middle of Seattle’s batting order said Friday he’s two weeks away from returning to his surging team.

Beltre had surgery June 30 to remove painful bone spurs in his left, non-throwing shoulder. The Mariners estimated he’d miss six to eight weeks.

He said he has been playing catch and fielding groundballs. He’ll hit off a tee today.

“I’m feel like I probably could play right now,” said Beltre, who is renowned in Seattle for playing through pain.

When asked if his cautious Mariners are putting up a big stop sign to that idea, Beltre nodded and said, “Yeah.”

He said the team is telling him he must wait another two weeks to return but that his rehabilitation is ahead of schedule. The Mariners want to ensure the shoulder is strong enough to keep the bone spurs from returning.

“It feels way better,” he said, putting on his uniform for a workout during batting practice. “Two more weeks.”

He is batting .259 with five home runs and 31 RBIs in 73 games.

He gained more respect inside the Mariners’ clubhouse by playing two games last month against his former team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, in the days immediately after he decided to have the surgery.

Seattle, which acquired Jack Hannahan from the Oakland Athletics this month to fill in for Beltre at third base, is six games better than .500, and 12-9 without Beltre.

M’s designate Corcoran

The Mariners have designated reliever Roy Corcoran for assignment.

The move cleared roster space for Ryan Rowland-Smith to be recalled from Triple-A Tacoma. Rowland-Smith made his first start for Seattle since April on Friday night against Cleveland.

Corcoran was 2-0 with a 6.16 ERA in 16 games this season. He had a six-week stint on the disabled list with a strained neck.

The 29-year-old Louisiana native was a surprise for the Mariners in 2008, going 6-2 with a 3.22 ERA. Teammates loved his homespun sense of humor, and manager Don Wakamatsu said the decision to send Corcoran away was difficult.

Seattle has 10 days to trade or release Corcoran, or send him outright to the minor leagues.

Also, infielder Josh Wilson was outrighted to Triple-A Tacoma. He was designated for assignment on Tuesday.

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