June 12, 2009 at 5:20 PM
First, to clear up a couple of things:
Now, on to the Erik Bedard situation. Wakamatsu said Bedard the shoulder problem cropped up in Bedard’s last start, June 7 (last Sunday) against the Twins. The Mariners won 4-2, and Bedard got the victory, but he lasted just five innings (101 pitches). He gave up four hits, two runs, walked four and struck out four.
Wakamatsu said the decision to scratch Bedard tomorrow was “precautionary.” He said, “It was a matter of how close he was to being where he felt it wasn’t going to jeopardize anything. He could probably pitch, but we felt it safest not to.”
Bedard didn’t pitch after July 4 of last year because of shoulder problems, and underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery on Sept. 26. Dr. Lewis Yocum removed a cyst and performed a minor labral debridement (which is removal of non-healthy tissue). The point is, he has a history with that shoulder, so, yes, this is something to worry about. But if he’s back out there on Friday against the Diamondbacks, as the Mariners plan, that would be obviously encouraging. No doubt teams thinking about trading for Bedard will be watching him even more closely.
As for Brandon Morrow, he gets to stay in the majors a bit longer — maybe more than a bit — as he transitions to the rotation.
“He pitched well the other day (2 1/3 innings against Baltimore Tuesday),” Wakamatsu said. “We think he’s making adjustments. It’s a situation where we can take him to 60 (pitches) and maybe build him here. Morrow been getting work up here. We feel that’s the direction we’re heading right now with him.”
Morrow admitted that when Wakamatsu called him into his office, he figured he was headed to Tacoma.
“I thought they were probably going to make a move tomorrow or something,” he said.
He was pleased to learn the move is that he’ll be starting here at Coors Field in Bedard’s place.
“The main thing is, I’m going to try to be conservative with my pitches and give them the best start I can, and the most innings I can, to make it easier on the guys after me,” he said.
Five innings, he said, would be “ideal.” Combining our Cal educations, we figured out that would mean an average of 12 pitches an inning — not easy to accomplish.
Morrow said he didn’t want to change his mindset just because he’s starting here, rather than in Tacoma.
“No, I’d be doing the same things,” he said. “I’m going to continue to work on what I’ve been working on, and that’s really what’s going to keep me pitching well. I don’t want to fall back and try to do too much just because I’m pitching up here. My last outing, I thought I had a good outing.”