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August 2, 2009 at 3:52 PM

Erik Bedard feels fine after catch session, to throw bullpen on Tuesday

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Not much news to tell you about today, though it was a big day for an oft-injured lefty starter. Erik Bedard had an extended catch session today and felt well enough afterwards that the team will allow him to throw a bullpen session on Tuesday.
The plan is, if everything goes well, to have him ready to pitch in a game by next Sunday, when he’s first eligible to come off the DL.
This was a huge step for Bedard. If he didn’t feel well enough after today’s session, the team was going to have him get another MRI on his shoulder.


“If he feels the same thing in there, we’ll probably go have it looked at again,” Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said in his press briefing 90 minutes ago. “I think we’re at that point if he hasn;t gotten any better. We don’t want to continue down the same (road) with what we did before where we put him on the DL and get him right back on and have to go through all this (again).”
But moments ago, when I poked my head into Wakamatsu’s office, after Bedard had come off the field, he was meeting with pitching coach Rick Adair and told me the pitcher would indeed throw a bullpen session.
So, that’s one bullet dodged.
Wakamatsu says he’s ruled out using Bedard as a bullpen arm.
“I think his value is as a starting pitcher,” he said. “You look at what we did with (Brandon) Morrow early, where we said we’re going to try to get him some innings out of there, and all of a sudden…it’s just too hard to predict.”
In other news, Franklin Gutierrez gets a night off tonight. Wakamatsu feels the challenge of becoming full-time players might be starting to wear on both Gutierrez and Russell Branyan.
So, Gutierrez gets a 48-hour rest, with the off-day tomorrow. Branyan might be bumped further back in the order now that Adrian Beltre is set to return on Tuesday. The idea might be to slide Jack Wilson into the No. 2 spot, put Beltre third and move Branyan to either cleanup or No. 5.
The lineups:
MARINERS (54-50)
RF Ichiro
1B Russell Branyan
2B Jose Lopez
Ken Griffey Jr. DH
3B Jack Hannahan
SS Jack Wilson
CF Ryan Langerhans
C Rob Johnson
LF Michael Saunders
RHP Ian Snell
RANGERS (58-44)
2B Omar Vizquel
3B Michael Young
DH David Murphy
LF Marlon Byrd
1B Hank Blalock
RF Nelson Cruz
CF Josh Hamilton
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
SS Elvis Andrus
RHP Scott Feldman

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