August 6, 2018 / 7:44 PM / a year ago

Cano begins rehab stint, set to rejoin Mariners next week

Robinson Cano will begin his journey back to the Seattle Mariners with Triple-A Tacoma Monday night.

FILE PHOTO: Mar 31, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano (22) hits a single against the Cleveland Indians during the sixth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The team announced that Cano, who is due to return soon from an 80-game suspension, will be in uniform for the Rainiers.

Cano, 35, was placed on the disabled list May 14, the day after he sustained a broken hand when he was hit by a pitch in Detroit.

On May 15, Major League Baseball announced Cano was suspended 80 games for violating league drug rules. Cano tested positive for furosemide, which is a diuretic on the banned-substance list that players often use to hide performance-enhancing drug usage.

He is eligible for reinstatement on Aug. 14.

When Cano went on the DL, he was hitting .287 with four homers, 23 RBIs and a .441 slugging percentage. That’s offense the reeling Mariners can use.

After sitting in second place in the American League West with a firm grasp on a wild-card spot for much of the season, the Mariners are 3-7 in their last 10 games. They have fallen to 6 1/2 games behind the division-leading Houston Astros and 2 1/2 games behind surging Oakland for the second AL wild card.

Cano has spent the past few weeks working out at his family baseball academy in the Dominican Republic. With Dee Gordon now a fixture at Cano’s second base spot for the Mariners, Cano has been taking ground balls at first base and third base.

“In talking with Robbie, he just wants to help any way he can,” manager Scott Servais told reporters last week. “If that means giving Kyle a day off at third or see what happens at first base, play a game at second base, he’s going to play wherever we need him to play.

“He wants to be prepared as well as he can to handle those spots. He hasn’t been at those spots in a long time. So I’m glad he’s getting the work in. He does have a good arm.”

Tacoma plays home games on Monday and Tuesday. It is unknown if Cano will travel with the team on the road or head north on Interstate 5 to play with the short-season Class-A Everett AquaSox before rejoining the Mariners in Oakland next week.

When Cano returns, the Mariners will have a combined 15 games remaining with Houston and Oakland. Cano is not eligible to play in the postseason if the Mariners earn a playoff berth.

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