FYI, I’m told that Jack Zduriencik will not be accompanying the Mariners on their road trip to Texas, which begins Thursday. I’m sure he wants to be at the command center as trade talk heats up. The deadline for making deals without necessitating waivers is 1 p.m. Seattle time on Friday.
Speaking of which…I asked Don Wakamatsu if he believes Washburn can put aside the trade rumors and focus on his start tonight (which I now expect will be his last in a Mariners’ uniform. I see a trade as increasingly inevitable).
“It’s not easy for anybody,” Wakamatsu said. “We had a talk in there yesterday, and just tried to keep him focused. He’s a veteran guy, and he’s been through a lot. He went through it last year, and nothing happened last year. To me, if there’s anyone that can handle it, it’s probably him.”
Someone asked if Wakamatsu if he’s surprised that Washburn is still around to make the start.
“I don’t want to go there,” he said. “I know you’re fishing right there. To me, we’re trying to get off a four-game stretch here and keep guys motivated and having fun,”
Here’s an interesting comment from Wakamatsu while discussing who will take Erik Bedard’s spot in the rotation Thursday.
“Everything seems to be pointing toward (Garrett) Olson right now, but we’ll see. We’ll see if anything shows up.”
Hmm. If anything shows up. Hmmm.
He added, “We’re still monitoring guys in Triple-A. There’s guys we’ve talked to, guys that are pitching pretty well. (Doug) Fister is pitching pretty well, a guy that hasn’t been mentioned. We’re going to look at every option.”
Wakamatsu said that Jose Lopez and Russ Branyan are still experiencing back stiffness. I know some of you are wondering if there are trade implications, but I don’t see it. I just think they have stiff backs. Doesn’t mean they won’t be traded, but I think the injuries are legit.
“Bottom line, I think it’s better off resting them and letting them get in there tomorrow,” Wakamatsu said.
The reports on Adrian Beltre, who began taking BP yesterday, continue to be outstanding, and the Mariners hope to activate him during the Royals’ series in Kansas City, Aug. 4-6.
“You see his BP yesterday, that’s as good as I’ve seen him in a long time,” Wakamatsu said. “He says he feels great. Our concern is not to rush it too much, and not to get him activated and have to go right back on (the DL). That’s our biggest fear.
“We’ll look at how he reacts in the next couple of days, but he was hitting balls in the upper deck yesterday. He said two or three times, this feels better than when he had the first surgery. That’s a good sign.”
Asked if he’s ruled out activating Beltre for the upcoming Texas series, Wakamatsu said, “I don’t rule anything out. No, think he’s going to need the time.”
The current thinking, he said, is that Beltre will not need a rehab assignment in the minor leagues before being activated.
Wakamatsu, by the way, took some swings in the cage around 3 p.m. He hit some line drives, and drove a couple of balls to the warning track. But the career .226 hitter in 31 major-league at-bats (he hit .258 in 761 minor-league games) is not going to come out of retirement at age 46 and throw himself into the catching picture.
“My days are long gone,” he said. “It just reminds you hitting is a violent act. I think I pulled a hamstring and reinjured my wrist.”