Seattle Seattle Mariners second baseman Bret Boone, slowed by back spasms over the past week, was left out of the lineup for Friday's opener of a three-game series against the New York Yankees.
Boone is hitting .252 with six home runs, leading Seattle with 18 RBIs.
His back has been bothering him since April 30, when he was hurt while diving for a ball in Detroit. He sat out the next day's game, but has played each day since.
"It just got out of whack," Boone said. "It wasn't instant, serious pain, but it's been enough to feel it."
Jolbert Cabrera took over at second base, while manager Bob Melvin shuffled the lineup, putting Randy Winn back in the No. 2 hole and moving Scott Spiezio up to Boone's usual spot hitting third.
Boone said he felt the muscles tighten while swinging during batting practice before Thursday's win over Minnesota and again when he ran down to first after making contact during the game.
He was even losing his breath after missing on some big cuts in the late innings. If the rest works, Boone could return as early as Saturday.
"If he's ready to play, he'll play," Melvin said. "If not, he won't."
Known for his dogged determination to play every day, Boone said he was planning to suit up Friday but reconsidered after discussing it with Melvin when he arrived at the ballpark.
"The ultimate argument is that I have the pen," Melvin joked. "I've found he can be semi-honest at times. When he doesn't put up a tremendous fight, you know he's hurting, especially with the Yankees in town."
Melvin said trainers didn't even want Boone sitting on the dugout bench during the Yankees game. Instead, the plan was to have him in the training room getting treatment.