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August 10, 2009 at 5:27 PM

Mariners notes, pregame 8-10-09 (steppin’ in for Mr. Baker)

OK, so you get me tonight, Jose M. Romero. Moving over from soccer duty por una noche so I can watch some pelota out at Safeco.
Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu reiterated that the team will wait to see until after Wednesday what decision it will make regarding Erik Bedard, who was in the clubhouse today and is soon to see a specialist in California about his arm.
Pitcher Carlos Silva, on the 60-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, will have his bullpen session either tomorrow or Wednesday and will throw 25 pitches, Wakamatsu said.
Franklin Gutierrez is in the starting lineup as the No. 2 hitter in the order, with Russell Branyan, who has hit there in 50 games this season, moved down to the sixth spot for only the sixth time in 2009. Gutierrez seems to have found the swing that made him successful earlier in the season.
“I do like Gutierrez in that two-hole,” Wakamatsu said. “It gives us a lot of options. He can hit for power, bunt and run. Gives us a good at-bat and allows us to back everybody up a little bit more. Gives us another on-base percentage guy. With Russell you look at the numbers and they’re not real good. He still has driven in some runs from that position. The thought was that he could hit a home run at anytime out of that position…We’ll see where we end up.”
Another day, another Mariners pitcher making his Safeco Field debut.
Saturday it was Ian Snell. Tonight it is Luke French. Tuesday, Doug Fister makes his first start at Safeco.
Wakamatsu said one of the areas the Mariners observed in French before trading for him was the first pitch of an at-bat and the damage done against him with the first pitch.
“Other than that, his numbers are real good,” Wakamatsu said. “The second part of that is, why he didn’t go past five or six innings with Detroit. Was it the pitch count, was it because he’s young and they didn’t want him to go further? We want to educate and train pitchers to go seven, eight innings.”
Wakamatsu said it was French’s first-pitch location that got him into trouble in previous starts.
Wakamatsu was asked that, as a colleague of White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, if he could imagine saying what the very outspoken Guillen said Sunday morning about opposing pitchers hitting his players with pitches.
Guillen said if he thinks it is on purpose, “two guys are going down. I don’t care if I get suspended.”
“I played with Ozzie,” Wakamatsu said. “So nothing suprises me about Ozzie. I do think Ozzie is good for the game. Ozzie’s genuine, and it’s very difficult sometimes to be that genuine, but he pulls it off.”
Wakamatsu and Guillen were teammates briefly in 1991.

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