Ever wondered what it would be like to step up to home plate at Safeco Field? Now, you have some idea from the photo above. Just imagine some fielders, no tarps, and a pitcher throwing 95 mph.
Speaking of pitchers, Erik Bedard will fly to California to see Dr. Lewis Yocum on Wednesday. As we’ve mentioned repeatedly, there’s a strong chance Berdard has thrown his final pitch in a Mariners uniform. Nothing is official yet, but as this point, with little more to gain in 2009, he’s almost better off having exploratory surgery now than risking any more pitches if he’s got doubts about his arm’s health. The doubts alpone could be enough to cause him to alter his delivery and seriously hurt himself.
Doug Fister will indeed start on Tuesday as expected. That relief outing by Fister last night served as the equivalent of a side session and got his feet wet in the majors.
Not only that, but Carlos Silva will also be throwing Tuesday — in a bullpen session. Silva hasn’t pitched in a game since May.
As you can imagine, it’s getting a little crowded in the back end of Seattle’s rotation when you start looking ahead to next season.
The Mariners aren’t certain whether Silva will throw again in a game this year. But that’s the idea for now. To get him back out there, as long as his arm isn’t being rushed.
“I think he’s working extremely hard,” Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said. “I know he cares a lot. It’s nice to know he has a handle on this injury.”
Silva isn’t going anywhere this winter. Not with two years left on that $48-million contract. So, yes, he has to be considered a rotation candidate along with today’s starter, Ryan Rowland-Smith, Jason Vargas, Garrett Olson, Luke French, Fister and, let’s not forget, Brandon Morrow.
“The one thing we’re in a position to do is to be able to evaluate,” Wakamatsu said, adding that he’ll have greater knowledge of rotation candidates this winter than he did coming in fresh last year. “We’ll have a clearer game plan to be able to set our rotation over the winter.”
Morrow had another OK outing down in Class AAA Tacoma last night, but isn’t going to be rushed back to the rotation any time soon. (For those of you writing in arguing that Morrow was better than “OK” last night, he went six innings against the team with the worst record in the PCL. Sure, he put up good results, but he was hardly facing the Yankees. He was OK. Ian Snell struck out 17 guys in a AAA outing a few weeks ago. That was outstanding. Morrow was OK. How would his numbers translate against major league opponents? Five innings? 4 1/3 maybe? No one’s dissing Morrow, but I’m not going to crown him either based on six innings of good ball versus a team with a .426 winning percentage in the minors. That’s a mistake this team has made too often in the past. But at least Morrow wasn’t “bad” or anything.)
This organization is not run the way it used to be. Guys are not being handed major league opportunities because of one or two good outings. Not if the team can help it. That could change if the Mariners get any more outings like the 1 1/3 frames from Ian Snell last night. If the club becomes desperate for innings, more pitchers could be called in. But as was the case with Rowland-Smith, Morrow is being asked to string together several good outings in a row at AAA before he gets called back up.
SS Jason Bartlett
LF Carl Crawford
3B Evan Longoria
2B Ben Zobrist
DH Pat Burrell
1B Willy Aybar
RF Gabe Kapler
C Dioner Navarro
CF B.J. Upton
LHP Scott Kazmir
CF Franklin Gutierrez
2B Jose Lopez
DH Mike Sweeney
3B Adrian Beltre
1B Russell Branyan
SS Jack Wilson
C Kenji Johjima
LF Michael Saunders
LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith