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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

April 3, 2009 at 10:36 AM

More on Ichiro (with Reegie Corona update)

(KIRO’s Shannon Drayer, who is traveling with the team, reports that Jack Zduriencik told her Ichiro has been cleared to work out today at the M’s complex in Peoria. This is a good sign).

UPDATE: The Mariners just officially announced that Rule 5 draftee Reegie Corona has been returned to the Yankees. That leaves the 40-man roster at 36, enabling them to add a non-roster outfielder to replace Ichiro, as well as adding Mike Sweeney, Chris Jakubauskas and Shawn Kelley. The non-roster candidates are Mike Wilson, Chris Burke, Mike Morse and Prentice Redman. Also remember that everyone is cutting down their teams in these final days, so some released or waived players might catch their eye.

Here’s the story I pounded out for the internet on Ichiro going on the DL.

A couple of things:

  • The team is about to board a plane in Phoenix to fly to Las Vegas, so I won’t get a chance to talk to team doctor Mitch Storey, Jack Zduriencik or Don Wakamatsu until they all get to Cashman Field this afternoon. Thus, I won’t immediately have all the answers you and I want.

  • From what I can gather with a couple of quick calls, the Mariners are very hopeful Ichiro will be ready to play on April 15, when he’s eligible to come off the disabled list. If that’s the case, this is not a huge blow. He would miss just eight games, and be back for the second game of the team’s first homestand at Safeco, facing the Angels.

  • As for who will play right field, I suspect it will be mostly Endy Chavez, who also stands to take over at leadoff. Franklin Gutierrez is another leadoff candidate. Chavez has had a sensational spring, hitting .500 (16-for-32) with nine RBI and a .750 slugging percentage (on top of a .348 average for Venezuela in the WBC). Chavez played 60 games in right field last year for the Mets. Ken Griffey was the Reds’ primary right fielder the past two seasons. Wlad Balentien had 35 appearances in right last year.

  • Hard to say who will take Ichiro’s roster spot. The 40-man roster is currently at 36 (not 37 as I said earlier; Reegie Corona has been removed). Don’t overlook recently acquired Chris Burke, who can play outfield or infield. Just looking at the 40-man, the only people I can see with even remote outfield possibilities are Mike Carp and Bryan LaHair (plus Greg Halman, who isn’t ready).

  • Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about ulcers. According to this article, the standard regimen of medicine takes two weeks and is 90 percent effective. Anyone with experience in this realm?

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