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March 5, 2009 at 3:55 PM

Step forward for Bedard

Manager Don Wakamatsu was very pleased with Erik Bedard’s outing in the Mariners’ 4-2 loss to the Angels today — their first official loss of spring. He worked 2 2//3 innings, giving up one hit (though third baseman Matt Tuiasosopo and shortstop Reegie Corona each robbed hits with great plays) and striking out three. He walked one.
“I thought he was great today,” Wakamatsu said. “He threw well. Burkie (catcher Jamie Burke) made some comments about his ball being a little bit livelier than last year.”
The biggest thing is that after undergoing shoulder surgery in September that initially was feared to jeopardize his 2009 season, if not his career, Bedard is throwing free and easy, without discomfort.
“Tomorrow’s a big day, like every day after he throws, but he felt good after the game. He came out on a positive note,” Wakamatsu said. “I liked his demeanor out there today. I thought he looked comfortable. In his first outing, maybe he was trying to throw a little harder. Today, it came out of his hand nice.”
Ronny Cedeno played left field today, which could come into play if he fills a utility role.
“He’s still in the mix for the infield,” Wakamatsu said. “We’ll see how that plays out. If it ends up being he’s a utility guy, I want to play him some (in the outfield) before we break camp. That’s what we did today. But we’ll see him a lot more at second base and shortstop.”
Last year, Seattle manager John McLaren made a big point of emphasizing games against the Angels, wanting to establish a winning attitude against them early. They still finished 39 games behind the Angels. Wakamatsu is somewhat limited in what he could have done Thursday, even if he wanted to. Three starters — Ichiro, Kenji Johjima, and Jose Lopez — are off at the World Baseball Classic — and Ken Griffey and Adrian Beltre are being brought along slowly as they recover from off-season surgeries. The only regulars in Thursday’s lineup were center fielder Franklin Gutierrez and first baseman Russ Branyan. I asked Wakamatsu his feelings about playing AL West teams in spring.
“I think it’s cat and mouse a little — what are you going to show?” he said. “Do you show them a lot or not show them a lot. It’s nice later in spring to get your big boys against their pitching as much as possible. Not right now.”
The Mariners had only four hits in the game, but one was Chris Shelton’s third homer of the spring. Mike Carp had a pinch-hit triple in the ninth and is now hitting .455 (5-for-11) in six games. Randy Messenger worked a perfect ninth and hasn’t allowed a run in three outings (2 1/3 innings).
Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren and his wife, Kathy, watched the game with Mariners president Chuck Armstrong.

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