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June 29, 2008 at 12:46 PM

Mariners shorthanded on mound

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Those of you with tickets to Tuesday night’s game against Toronto will be in for a treat. Mariners manager Jim Riggleman said this morning that he plans to go with one of those bullpen combinations from start to finish, given the injury status of Seattle’s starting rotation. Miguel Batista, pictured above with Raul Ibanez, has yet to throw a bullpen session since complaining of a lingering back problem he hadn’t told anyone about. Riggleman doesn’t want him starting until he throws one and shows he can do something.
Felix Hernandez is still out. The training staff has yet to let him throw with that sore landing leg. They were thinking he might throw today, but he hasn’t yet from what I’ve seen. Jarrod Washburn goes on Wednesday, R.A. Dickey tomorrow and Erik Bedard today. That leaves a big hole in Tuesday’s slot. Riggleman will throw a bunch of relievers out there and hope one can stretch things out a little longer to save some relievers for the days ahead — especially with the Detroit Tigers looming on the horizon.
“(Ryan) Rowland-Smith would be a candidate,” Riggleman said. “(Roy) Corcoran, (Sean) Green, (Mark) Lowe. It may not really even matter which one starts. It’s just going to be a combination of the guys.”
Jeff Clement is catching Bedard today. No Kenji Johjima. Guess $24 million doesn’t buy much anymore. I asked Riggleman about that situation.
“When we get back in the American League, hopefully we can keep getting both of them their at-bats,” Riggleman said. “Clement will get some at-bats at DH. Joh will catch, and then Joh DH every now and then. But Clement is not here to catch every third day or something. He’s here to get some significant time and see what we’ve got with him.”
I then asked Riggleman the natural follow-up. Who is his No. 1 catcher right now?
“Burke,” Riggleman deadpanned.
Then, he got serious.
“I don’t even know why I would even want to answer that,” he said. “I don’t want to insult anybody by saying somebody’s No. 1 or No. 2. They’re both catchers and they’re both going to catch a lot. It’ll play out. Hopefully, time will tell us if one of them establishes himself as a clear-cut guy who the organzation is going to commit to for the future as a No. 1.”
Funny, I thought that’s what the Johjima extension was supposed to be about. Guess not.
No Richie Sexson in today’s lineup. Second day in a row he’s out. Jose Vidro is back at first base. Life could be worse. You could be this guy, down below.
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The lineups:
MARINERS (30-50)
51 Ichiro CF
4 Jose Lopez 2B
28 Raul Ibanez LF
3 Jose Vidro 1B
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
8 Jeremy Reed CF
9 Jeff Clement C
5 Yuniesky Betancourt SS
45 Erik Bedard LHP
PADRES (32-50)
12 Scott Hairston CF
2 Edgar Gonzalez 2B
24 Brian Giles RF
23 Adrian Gonzalez 1B
5 Kevin Kouzmanoff 3B
16 Chase Headley LF
3 Khalil Greene SS
1 Luke Carlin C
44 Jake Peavy RHP

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