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July 25, 2009 at 6:29 PM

Top Mariners officials think Erik Bedard is hurt again

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The good news in the photo above is that I think the Mariners actually won the game you see them playing. The bad news is, it was against their own 4 and 5-year-old kids and doesn’t count in the standings.
Oh well.
In the real game played today, the Mariners were whipped 10-3 by the Cleveland Indians. And then, as if falling 7 1/2 games out of the division lead wasn’t bad enough, the team kept the clubhouse door closed longer than usual. The reason why is that Don Wakamatsu and Jack Zduriencik caught up with Erik Bedard afterwards and had a frank discussion with him.
Wakamatsu and Zduriencik didn’t like how many pitches it was taking Bedard to get hitters out today and feel he is hurting.
“You watch little signs on the mound,” Wakamatsu said. “Really, the result tells you a lot with a guy that has that good a stuff,” Wakamatsu said. “It was necessary to have that discussion afterwards. I know he doesn’t want to say that anything’s bothering him. But we’ll find out tomorrow in more detail.”

There is no MRI planned as of yet. Bedard already had one of those a while back and it showed nothing serious was wrong with his arm. For now, Wakamatsu says the team will meet with the pitcher tomorrow, see how he feels, and take it from there.
Rob Johnson said he didn’t think Bedard looked right.
“I think that he’s hurting a little bit, but I’m not 100 percent sure,” he said. “I’m not in his body. I just know that he’s going to give it everything that he has. Whatever that is.”
Bedard wasn’t around to answer these questions, so Johnson did his best.
“His stuff’s not quite as sharp,” he added. “Sometimes, something’s hurt. Sometimes that’s just the way it goes. Starters make about 30 starts a year? They’re not going to be on top of their game every time. You talk to any starter that’s ever lived, they’re not going to have phenomenal stuff every time. So, it could be something like that. It could be mechanical stuff. All those kinds of things.
“Obviously, pitches, his fastball plays off his fastball. When his fastball isn’t quite as sharp it doesn’t make his curveball as sharp. He’s not going to get as many swings and misses. He was a little wild today and that tends to make his curveball not as sharp.”
Johnson was sharp and quick in helping avert a brawl after Chris Jakubauskas plunked Ben Francisco with a pitch right after an Asdrubal Cabrera homer. Francisco took a step toward Jakubauskas, but Johnson quickly got in the way and helped talk him down. Order was quickly restored.
“To be successful in this game, you have to come inside,” Johnson said. “As wild as Jak was with some of his pitches today, I really don’t think he was trying to hit anyone.”
Anyhow, it’s not worth discussing for now, since little came of it.
On this Bedard thing, his trade value now is likely nil heading into the non-waiver deadline. As for August, that’s always possible, but first, he has to get out and pitch. Bedard really hasn’t done that since early June.
Some of you have asked me about other trade rumors, well, I don’t want to throw all kinds of crazy speculation around. But I can tell you for a fact that the Brewers like Jarrod Washburn and Brandon Morrow as well. Package those two together and ship them off to Milwaukee and there are a bunch of guys — maybe even a top prospect like shortstop Alcides Escobar — that the Brewers might part with.
Last winter, the Brew Crew would have choked on their egg nog had the Mariners made Morrow available to them. I think Morrow will be an interesting name to watch as the deadline nears because he adds that intriguing combination of youth to any package the M’s throw together.
We’ve already seen him linked today to that three-way deal with Tampa and Cleveland. I think there’s something there and we wrote about it last week. Morrow could help land this team some names that might have been untouchable a while back, especially if you pair him with Washburn — a guy who gives you value right now.
As for Bedard, that value isn’t there at the moment. The M’s will have to get him better and see what’s left to squeeze out.
We told you earlier that Jason Vargas is starting tomorrow. This team has too many lefty starters right now, considering its growing non-contender status. Don’t be surprised if at least one lefty other than Washburn gets moved by week’s end. Just throwing that out there for now. It’s going to be an interesting week.



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