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February 15, 2009 at 12:44 PM

Bedard throws: Hulett DFA

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A shot above of Erik Bedard throwing a brief bullpen session today. Haven’t seen Bedard throw at all since July, so it was a welcome sight.
In other, somewhat surprising news, infielder Tug Hulett has been designated for assignment. The team now has 10 days to trade or release him, or assign him to minor league camp. Hulett had been expected to compete with Ronny Cedeno, Reegie Corona, Chris Woodward and others for the backup infielder job.
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But Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik (pictured above with CEO Howard Lincoln watching Bedard pitch) saw that pitcher Luis Pena had been DFA’d by the Milwaukee Brewers and grabbed him off waivers. Pena was a top-20 prospect for the Brew Crew, a 26-year-old right hander from Venezuela who throws a fastball-curve ball combo and fanned 69 hitters in 68 1/3 innings in High A and Class AA ball two years ago. Last year, he fanned 49 batters in 49 1/3 innings in Class AAA (sorry about the initial stats and age confusion there, folks.)
What hurt him most in 2008 was the 47 walks he threw over the same number of frames. We’ll see if he can get his command under control.
This also shows you what can happen when a new regime takes over. Hulett was acquired by former GM Bill Bavasi in the Ben Broussard deal of 14 months ago. He got called up last summer by the M’s, but now appears ticketed for the minors unless a deal is made.
Anybody want to see a shot of J.J. Putz working out with the Mets today? Just click on the Hot Stone League, the great new blog from Times colleague Larry Stone.
Back to Bedard, he started off camp on the right foot, agreeing to meet with the media after his throwing session to answer questions about how his shoulder is coming along.
Here is the audio from part of that session.
Bedard began throwing off flat ground in a garage at his new Ontario home — which he had built last year — about the second week of December. He said it took a bit of time before he could confidently unleash his pitches without feeling the after-effects of his shoulder surgery last fall.
“Probably a couple of weeks after I first started throwing,” he said. “At first, it was a little stiff. That’s normal because of the scar tissue and stuff like that.”
Later, he began throwing off a plastic mound in the same garage.
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By the way, Miguel Cairo just signed a minor-league deal with the Phillies. I guess Sam Perlozzo, his former infield coach in Seattle and now with the Phils, must have put in a good word for him.

Comments | Topics: Chris Woodward

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