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Jean Segura and Nelson Cruz exit Thursday’s game with injuries

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Mariners shortstop Jean Segura left Thursday afternoon’s game against the Rockies after making the final out of the bottom of the fourth inning. Segura slid late into second base and appeared to jam his ankle.

Segura was 0-for-2 with a walk before exiting. Taylor Motter moved from left field to shortstop, Guillermo Heredia moved from center to left field, and Jarrod Dyson entered the game to play center. If Segura needs a stint on the disabled list, Motter will handle most of the playing time at shortstop.

DH Nelson Cruz was hit on the hand by an 89 MPH change-up from Kyle Freeland in the third inning. He stayed in the game but didn’t take his next at-bat in the fifth inning. Boog Powell pinch-hit for Cruz.

Segura entered Thursday’s action batting a league-leading .344 with an .858 OPS in 195 plate appearances. Cruz was hitting .279/.362/.519 with 12 home runs and an AL-best 42 RBI in 213 PA.

The Mariners should provide an update on the conditions of Segura and Cruz at some point this evening.

Joe Girardi steps down as manager of USA Baseball

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Baseball is an Olympic sport once again and USA Baseball begins the road to qualifying for the 2020 Games in just a couple of weeks. They’ll be doing it with a new manager, though, as current team USA manager Joe Girardi has stepped down from the role in order to concentrate on his quest to return to managing in the big leagues.

Girardi has interviewed for the Cubs job already and is candidate for the openings with the Mets and the Phillies. His stepping down from the Olympic job suggests that he thinks he stands a pretty good chance of getting one of the seven current openings around the game. Or, at the very least, that he wishes to show clubs with openings that he’s serious.

Girardi will be replaced by Scott Brosius, who was poised to be Girardi’s bench coach with Team USA.

The team begins training in Arizona on October 21. It begins playing qualifier games in early November in Mexico. Eventually, the 2020 Olympic Games will feature a six-nation field.