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June 19, 2009 at 5:00 PM

Mariners pitcher Erik Bedard said to be fine, but still out at least 11 more days

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Franklin Gutierrez, above, is the team’s new No. 5 hitter, moving up in the order tonight after walloping those two home runs yesterday.
We just got word on Erik Bedard. The MRI taken yesterday in San Diego found — absolutely nothing. His shoulder is fine. When asked about what could have been bothering Bedard all this time, manager Don Wakamatsu said maybe “a slight bursitis.”
So, that part is good news. Now, here’s the part I’m a little leery about, just based on last year. Bedard will resume his regular workout routine in three days, once the dye injected in his shoulder for the procedure starts to dissipate.
And then, if all goes well, the plan is to activate him once the team plays in New York against the Yankees 11 days from now — at best.
“He should be ready for the road trip,” Wakamatsu said. “Probably the earliest would be New York.”
Now, I have no reason to doubt this will happen, except…well, we kept getting told the same stuff a year ago and Bedard’s launch date kept getting put off again and again. So, the best I’d say is, Mariners’ fans, you can tentatively cross your fingers and hope to see him out there at Yankee Stadium. Or, maybe later.
Hey, it’s better than being told he’s been shut down for the year. So, now, the team waits three days, then holds its breath.
“The rest after that is just trying to get him to where he’s ready to pitch and feels like we can stretch him out a little bit,” Wakamatsu said.
The team was naturally worried about what happened last year. That’s why the decision was made to have Bedard checked out when he came up a little sore after a throwing session a couple of days ago.
“The only thing that they could find at all was maybe a slight bursitis,” Wakamatsu said. “You never know with those things what exactly it is. But that’s basically the only thing they could come up with at that point. That he might have some bursitis.”
New acquisition Josh Wilson will join the team over the weekend. And no, he’s not going to Class AAA yet.
“He’s going to stay up here for a couple of days at least,” Wakamatsu said.
That will be until Jose Lopez comes back from his breavement leave.
I spoke to GM Jack Zduriencik, who described Wilson as “a pure shortstop” who can play the position well. In other words, it’s defense the Mariners were after, not a bat, which is something Wilson has never really shown.
“It’s a position we were lacking depth at and it just so happened, as a coincidence, that he became available right when Lopez went on bereavement leave,” said Zduriencik, shown speaking below with Arizona counterpart Josh Byrnes. “I was standing there watching him take batting practice the other day in San Diego, now, all of a sudden, he’s available.”
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No, this is not curtains for Yuniesky Betancourt. But one of the two backup guys, Ronny Cedeno or Chris Woodward, could be headed back down to AAA tomorrow once Wilson is activated.
Cedeno has minor league options left.
I also asked Zduriencik about whether he’s received trade offers for any of his players and he said: “not a one.”
Teams right now, he added, are starting to feel one another out. But he doesn’t get a sense that any are all that prepared to make a big deal just yet. In other words, the Mariners have some time to get back in this AL West race before they start to feel pressured to move anybody by the July 31 deadline.
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By the way, Kenji Johjima will play for Class AAA Tacoma tomorrow. He could be back with the Mariners by next week. I saw Johjima go bounding up the stairs ahead of me as I was walking from the field to the clubhouse moments ago and he looked fine. No sense that he had a broken toe.
He’ll get a couple of at-bats and catch about five innings.
“If everything goes OK tomorrow, then he’ll DH on Sunday,” Wakamatsu said. “If he feels a little tenderness on it, then he’ll take Sunday off.”
In that event, he’d play for Tacoma on Monday. His minor league stint could be limited to just those two games depemding on what happens.
“A lot of it is going to depend opn how he feels.”
The lineups:
Diamondbacks (29-38)
Lopez, dh
Drew, ss
Upton, rf
Reynolds, 3b
Parra, cf
Clark, 1b
Byrnes, lf
Montero, c
Roberts, 2b
Garland, rhp
Mariners (32-34)
Ichiro, rf
Branayan, 1b
Beltre, 3b
Sweeney, dh
Gutierrez, cf
Chavez, lf
Woodward, 2b
Johnson, c
Betancourt, ss
Washburn, lhp
HP – Andy Fletcher
1B – Ted Barrett
2B – Adrian Johnson
3B – Jim Joyce (crew chief)

Comments | Topics: Chris Woodward


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