Michael Saunders placed on disabled list with shoulder sprain

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The Mariners announced this evening that outfielder Michael Saunders has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder sprain. Endy Chavez has been called up from Triple-A Tacoma to replace him on the roster.

Saunders suffered the injury last night against the Astros when he crashed into the right field fence while catching a ball off the bat of Jose Altuve. While he’ll be sidelined for at least the next 15 days, he told Larry Stone of the Seattle Times that he hopes to not miss much time.

The Mariners are going with Michael Morse, Franklin Gutierrez and Raul Ibanez from right to left in the outfield tonight against Rangers’ right-hander Justin Grimm. Jason Bay, who beat out Casper Wells for a roster spot during spring training, should get some starts against southpaws. The newly-added Chavez will spell Gutierrez in center field if he needs a day off.

Miguel Sano gained weight this offseason

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Not all players coming in to spring training are in The Best Shapes of Their Lives. Some have put on a few pounds, such as Miguel Sano, notes Twins GM Thad Levine:

Sano has been given medical clearance to engage in all baseball workouts with his teammates, his surgically reinforced left shin now completely healed, though the Twins intend to lighten his schedule to prevent any new injuries.

They’d like to lighten something else, too: His “generous carriage,” as General Manager Thad Levine delicately put it last week. Sano’s conditioning understandably lags, after a winter largely spent incapacitated by the surgery.

Sano’s conditioning has often been a topic of conversation among the members of the Minnesota press corps, though not always in good faith. For example, last year when Sano injured his shin by fouling a ball off of it, one member of the The Fourth Estate found a way to make a column out of blaming the freak injury on Sano’s conditioning. At least in this instance his colleague is correctly noting that the poor conditioning is a result of the injury and not the cause.

Still, it’s just another issue facing Sano this spring. He’s out of shape, coming off of an injury, and — not that he’s due any sympathy for it — he’s facing a likely suspension arising out of the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him late last year.

So this spring we’ll be seeing more of Sano, it seems. At least until that time we’ll be seeing less of him.