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August 11, 2009 at 5:02 PM

Morrow looking good and other pre-game notes

  • Don Wakamatsu said that the reports on Brandon Morrow, who has had strong efforts forTacoma in his last two starts (three runs allowed in his past 13 innings), are encouraging.
    “Yes, absolutely. We talked earlier, we expect to get him back up here at some point in the year, and I think it is critical he does do that, and prove not only to us, but himself, he’s ready to come back and pitch. It’s similar to what we did with (Ryan) Rowland-Smith
    Considering that the Mariners’ rotation at the moment is in such flux, it would be a huge boast for them to have a resurgent Morrow back in there at some point.”

  • Outfielder Alex Rios, picked up on waivers by the White Sox, is in uniform, but not in the starting lineup.
  • The Mariners are expecting to find out tomorrow the status of Erik Bedard’s shoulder after he is examined in California. The preliminary reading of his MRI showed fraying in his labrum, and surgery is a possibility.
    “The preliminary talk is it’s not a very invasive or very dramatic surgery, if it had to be (operated on),” Wakamatsu said.

  • Asked if he monitors the standings, now that the Mariners have crept to within 4 1/2 games of the wild-card lead, Wakamatsu said, “I look at it every day, obviously, especially as a first-year manager, going through the trade deadline, and watching the effect on clubs. Everybody puts a lot of emphasis on how that’s the time teams either go forward or go back. I think it’s a little bit of a learning experience. Now we’re re-organizing, in a sense, with Jack Wilson, a couple of new pitchers, and we’re trying to get this team back as a team.
    On whether they believe they’re legitimate contenders, he said, “I think one thing we’ve established this year, we’ve beaten some pretty good teams, and that gives us a belief system — we’ve got a chance. The rest — the starting pitching is going to be critical. Our bullpen has done a phenomenal job. We have a lot of belief system in the back end of it. If we can get some innings out of those guys (starters), it puts us back in that situation where we’re playing one-run ball games.
    “I’d like to see the offense continue. There’s no secret. The secret, in a sense, is that we’ve been able to get the pitch counts up. If we can do that against whoever it is, we have a chance. We did that against Halladay a while back, we did it against Kazmir. We did it last night.

  • Kenji Johjima is back at catcher for the third straight game. Rob Johnson has some soreness in his throwing elbow, but Wakamatsu said the lineup decision is as much about rewarding Johjima with playing time as resting Johnson.
    “It’s something Rob’s had on and off. It’s not something that all of a sudden popped in there and is a problem. He should be in there tomorrow. I told him I’d give him one more day. Plus I think it’s healthy for a club, Johjima has played well.”

  • The ticket received by White Sox GM Ken Williams for jaywalking on Monday was still getting some chuckles. He has to pay $56.
    “I think he called (Ken) Griffey and asked Griffey to get him out of it,” Wakamatsu said. “I think they probably charged him double.”

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