The Mariners are a little short-handed at catcher today. Kenji Johjima has a bruised left knee after taking a foul tip yesterday, while Rob Johnson has maybe the weird injury of the season. He sprained his left ankle jumping up and down, celebrating Ichiro’s walk-off homer on Friday. Apparently, he landed in the hole that batters dig in the right-hand batter’s box and twisted the ankle. Only in baseball. Adam Moore gets the start by process of elmination.
Wakamatsu said that Johjima was actually in the original lineup but he’s have trouble bending his knee, which makes it hard to crouch. And, yes, Johnson is taking some ribbing.
“We have a video that says ‘The most embarrassing moments,’ and shows actually what happened,” Wakamatsu said. “Yeah, he’s taking some abuse on that. It wasn’t twisted oin someone else. He was jumping up and down, with no one around.”
However, if the Mariners need a second catcher today, it will be Johnson. Johjima isn’t going to play.
Ryan Langerhans, meanwhile, is sidelined with back spasms, so Bill Hall is back in left, despite being hobbled by a quad injury.
“He was able to play through it, but as you can tell, he’s not 100 percent out there,” Wakamatsu said. “He’s doing the best he can, especially with Langerhans out.”
Yet Wakamatsu is still resisting the urge to play Michael Saunders
“A lot of it is we’re trying to do as much as we can with his swing. It’s been nice the two times he’s gotten in, he’s gotten base hits. Not necessarily driven, but two base hits. There’s a couple of guys on this team at this point — Carlos Silva’s one, and Saunder’s another — we’re really just trying to make this progression into winter ball. I’m not afraid to use him on defense, but with everything going on with his swing…”
Finally, he’s some more thoughts from Wakamatsu on Matt Tuiasosopo, who made his second start at second base yesterday and played well:
“I sa him come up last year when I was with Oakland, and I didn’t think he was as athletic as I thought. Then in offseason, he dropped a little bit of weight and really, really played well in spring training. That’s when we started thinking, if there wasn’t an immediate opening for a starting job, he could be that super utility, whether it be left field, third base, second base and shortstop in a pinch. The rest is going to depend on his bat. The nice sign yesterday was the line drive to center field. He had some good at-bats off CC. You try to go through checks and balances, and one of them, he turned around a pretty good fastball yesterday. If he can continue to hit. I think athletically, he can play third, he can play second.”
Can he be an everyday second baseman?
“It’s too early to tell that. He’s played two nice games over there, and give us signs of his range. He’s played 20-something games there, and to see him play a game like last night is pretty special.He’s plenty athletic enough to do it.”
Derek Jeter SS
Johnny Damon LF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Hideki Matsui DH
Jorge Posada C
Robinson Cano 2B
Melky Cabrera RF
Brett Gardner CF
Joba Chamberlain RHP (8-5, 4.39 ERA)
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Jose Lopez 2B
Ken Griffey Jr. DH
Adrian Beltre 3B
Bill Hall LF
Mike Carp 1B
Adam Moore C
Josh Wilson SS
Ian Snell RHP (4-2, 4.86 ERA)