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The Mariners will hit in the off-field cages about a half-hour from now, so there are only some little kids down on the field with a player or two sprinkled in. We’ll see if the M’s can hit on the field in a couple of hours.
Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu is giving Franklin Gutierrez a day off. He’s had some long at-bats and helped tax pitchers of late. But he’s also 2-for-16 since the first game of the Texas series last week and hitless in his last three contests. So, Endy Chavez takes his place and Wladimir Balentien gets a start in left.
Wakamatsu said Gutierrez has had a leg condition — he sort of likened it to shin splints –since spring training that the team has to be aware of. So, he’s giving him a shot at two days off here, since the team won’t play again until Tuesday.
Mike Sweeney hurt his lower back again on the first pitch of his final at-bat last night. He then aggravated it more by checking his swing on the final pitch. Wakamatsu said it’s not too serious and that Sweeney should be available to play on Tuesday in Texas.
By the way, looks like Adrian Beltre has regained his clean-up role against righties. Russell Branyan had been doing that the past few times a right hander was out there.
A typical Sunday morning clubhouse. Quiet, relaxed. Teams usually don’t do regular batting practice the morning after a night game.
Ken Griffey Jr. is sitting at a table, playing cards with Beltre, Carlos Silva, Jose Lopez and Balentien. As usual, Griffey is commanding the table.
Over at another table, Felix Hernandez, Gutierrez, Ronny Cedeno and Yuniesky Betancourt are enjoying a breakfast of empanadas, imported from a local eatery. Getting hungry just thinking about it.
2B Jose Lopez
DH Ken Griffey Jr.
3B Adrian Beltre
1B Russell Branyan
LF Wladimir Balentien
SS Yuniesky Betancourt
C Rob Johnson
CF Endy Chavez
LHP Erik Bedard
May 10, 2009 at 9:14 AM