March 12, 2009 at 11:40 AM
Erik Bedard, scratched from his start on Wednesday with a sore butt muscle, felt much better Thursday, and could throw a bullpen session tomorrow. Brandon Morrow (forearm tightness) is also progressing and could throw a bullpen during the weekend.
Rule 5 infielder Reegie Corona has a strained shoulder from a diving play in Wednesday’s game and was given the day off. Adrian Beltre will play against the Rangers today and then get the weekend off as the Mariners continue to take it slowly with him because of his surgically repaired shoulder.
Bench coach Ty Van Burkleo will manage the Mariners tomorrow in Tucson against Arizona. Don Wakamatsu will be with the split squad against the Cubs in Mesa, watching Gaby Hernandez, Mark Lowe, David Aardsma, Tyler Walker and Shawn Kelley pitch. He will join the M’s in Tucson on Saturday for the Rockies’ game.
Wakamatsu on Josh Fields, re-assigned to minor-league camp today: “When we sent him down today, I told him the same thing I told you guys, that I was extremely proud of the way he handled himself, and impressed. We’re going to get him at least one game back up here, maybe two.”
The Mariners haven’t decided what level to start Fields, but Wakamatsu said there has been talk of Class AA. “I don’t know for sure,” he said.
Wakamatsu likes what he’s hearing about Ichiro and Kenji Johjima, who are in the Phoenix area with Team Japan.
“I just talked to Ken (interpreter Ken Barron) today. He says when the dialogue is about the Mariners, those guys are feeling pretty good about it. That has a lot to do with my ability to meet with Joh and Ichiro before, rather than having them come in whenever they come in and say, ‘I’m the manager. Let’s get started.’ I think we’ve built some kind of relationship so far, which is important.”
Tyler Johnson, who has had shoulder problems and probably won’t be ready to start the season, threw a 25-pitch bullpen session and felt good. “We’ll start progressing him along and see where it takes us,” Wakamatsu said.