Just got back up from the field and can tell you the Mariners now aren’t sure whether Ichiro will even get into a game this weekend. Ichiro did some jogging before batting practice, at a bit heavier pace than yesterday, but still not to the point where he’ll be ready to play.
I asked manager Don Wakamatsu whether he expects Ichiro to be in the lineup this weekend.
“It’s hard to say,” Wakamatsu said. “My guess is, he’ll take batting practice today and we’ll check tomorrow. I don’t have a date yet.”
Adrian Beltre, eligible to come off the DL as of today, is in much the same boat. Wakamatsu feels he could be ready by Sept. 1.
Some lineup changes tonight will see Josh Wilson back in at shortstop while namesake Jack Wilson gets the night off. Wilson, you’ll remember, is coming off that lingering hamstring issue.
“They told me at the beginning that they weren’t going to play him every single day,” Josh Wilson told me. “They kind of don’t want to rush him back in there.”
Wilson hasn’t played since last Sunday, after going on a hitting tear. He’s been doing all the same things to prepare for games and hopes he won’t suffer any due to the rust of sitting out.
“When I first got here, I didn’t play at all,” Wilson said with a laugh, refering to his first go-around with Seattle earlier this summer. “Hopefully, this will be a little easier.”
Also caught up with Bill Hall and asked him about that fantastic play in right field during last night’s eighth inning, where he played an Alberto Callaspo shot off the wall and threw him out at second. Hall was perfectly positioned to play the carom off the wall, which is the big reason he nailed Callaspo.
Hall said figuring out the nooks and crannies of Safeco Field hasn’t been much of a challenge.
“It’s pretty much like every other ballpark when it comes to that stuff,” he said. “There really aren’t any surprising places where the ball is going to take a funny hop on you. It just comes straight off the wall.”
Jose Guillen told me he’s going to be activated next week after missing most of the past month with that bizarre knee injury suffered when he was attempting to put on shin guards. Something else Guillen told me?
Guess who the scout was who first flew down to the Dominican Republic to sign Guillen when he was 16? I’ll give you a hint: he’s the only GM in baseball whose last name starts with the letter “Z”.
“Jack’s my man,” Guillen said of GM Jack Zduriencik.
Turns out, Zduriencik was scouting for the Pittsburgh Pirates back then. The scout who’d spotted Guillen didn’t have the authority to sign players, so Zduriencik hopped a plane, flew to the Caribbean nation and saw Guillen work out.
The rest is history.
“He knows his players,” Guillen said.
Want to hear another good Guillen story? Two years ago, when he was playing for the Mariners, clubhouse attendant Rob Reagle, 37, passed away suddenly in his home the final month of the season.
Reagle was survived by a 7-year-old daughter, Marissa. She’s here tonight as a guest of Guillen. I can see them together down on the field right now. She’s chatting with some of the Royals players. Guillen got her and her mother some good seats.
“Whenever I’m here playing, I make sure to take care of her,” Guillen said.
Say what you want about Guillen — and many people have — but he’s got a heart of gold to go with that volatile temper. Stuff like this is the reason readers of this blog formed a Jose Guillen Society in the first place. Here’s another one for your files.
Josh Wilson, ss
HP – Paul Emmel
1B – Gary Darling*
2B – Todd Tichenor
3B – Bruce Dreckman