Doug Fister had thrown two scoreless innings for Class AAA Tacoma on Thursday when he looked into the bullpen and couldn’t believe what he saw: a reliever was getting warm in the bullpen.
He didn’t know then that, at the same time in Kansas City, starter Jason Vargas was laboring through the first inning Thursday night of an 8-2 Mariners loss. The Mariners, sensing the need for a new arm, had made the call to pull Fister from his start.
But it wasn’t until at least 12 hours later, on Friday, that Rainiers coach Daren Brown told Fister he needed to catch a plane for his first trip to the major leagues.
“It was kind of an emotional rollercoaster, because you don’t know what’s going on,” Fister said.
On Tuesday, Fister will likely succeed the likes of Vargas, Garrett Olson and Chris Jakubauskas in trying to hold onto a spot in the back of the Mariners’ rotation. With Vargas’ demotion to Tacoma on Friday, Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said the team had not officially decided to start Fister on Tuesday, “but we’re thinking strongly that way. We’re going to keep him in the bullpen the next couple days as more of an emergency guy right now. We’ll probably announce tomorrow what we’re going to do with that spot.”
Fister, 25, went 6-4 with a 3.81 ERA in his first season with Tacoma after two seasons in Class AA West Tenn.
“There’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” Fister said.
-Erik Bedard will go to Los Angeles on Wednesday to see Dr. Lewis Yocum, the Angels’ physician who performed Bedard’s shoulder surgery last September. Yocum will take a look at Bedard’s recent MRI. “We’ll know more after he gets back,” Wakamatsu said.
-Wakamatsu was pleased to see closer David Aardsma have no problems in a scoreless inning on Friday night after a boil was removed from his rear end last week. “So I hope we’re on the backside, so to speak, of that,” Wakamatsu quipped.
-The Rays made a move today, claiming Russ Springer off waivers from Oakland. Infielder Joe Dillon was designated for assignment to make room on the active roster.
Jason Bartlett SS
Carl Craford LF
Evan Longoria 3B
Ben Zobrist RF
Carlos Pena 1B
Pat Burrell DH
Willy Aybar 2B
Gregg Zaun C
R.J. Upton CF
RHP James Shields
Russell Branyan 1B
Jose Lopez 2B
Ken Griffey Jr. DH
Adrian Beltre 3B
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Jack Wilson SS
Rob Johnson C
Michael Saunders LF
RHP Ian Snell