Chone Figgins 2B
Russ Branyan 1B
Milton Bradley DH
Jose Lopez 3B
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Jack Wilson SS
Rob Johnson C
MIchael Saunders LF
Felix Hernandez (5-5, 3.28)
Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada DH
Curtis Granderson CF
Colin Curtis LF
Francisco Cervelli C
Javier Vazquez (6-6, 5.16).
Jack Zduriencik said about two weeks ago that in two weeks, he would know a lot about the direction of the team moving forward, with regard to trades. That timetable has passed, but Zduriencik is still non-commital.
“You go day by day, week by week, and see what happens,” he said. “Series by series. Right now, we want to win baseball games. Everybody is intact; what we want to do is go out and keep playing good baseball. I think we’ve won eight of 11. We’re playing better, and that’s what we want to concentrate on.”
Zduriencik added, “You hope to think through everything and let things unfold. If you try to force something, that’s not the best way to do things. Right now, we want to win baseball games. That is our focus. We owe it to these guys here. I think they’re feeling good about each other. We have five tough games coming up on the road. We’ll see what happens.”
Zduriencik said he’s not bothered by all the trade rumors, currently focused on Cliff Lee.
“I think it’s just good copy,” he said. “Everybody has to write. There’s obvious things out there that are intriguing, if you’re a true baseball fan, or a casual baseball fan. You have your hometown team you root for, a lot of personal interest, and you have your emotions invested in the club. Anytime something happens, whether it’s an injury, or what happened last night, whether it’s a winning streak, something that affects the balance of the ballclub, it’s news, it’s a curiosity. That’s what drives talk radio, the blogs, people buying newspapers. It motivates people. You just have to take it in stride and understand that’s all part of it.”
The Mariners stick with the same lineup they had yesterday. Don Wakamatsu noted that Rob Johnson over the last month has shown considerable improvement on blocking balls in the dirt.
“I think he went through a stretch…just like a hitter, a catcher can lose confidence to the point where he knew it was affecting a lot of the game he was catching. One ball that isn’t blocked or a passed ball can affect the game. I know he has worked hard on it.
“We have talked about him recovering from pretty devastating surgery. You talk about Alex (Rodriguez, who had hip surgery last year), now put yourself (in Johnson’s place), where you have both hips operated on, and he’s catching. You know he has to fight fatigue and other things.”
Erik Bedard will start tomorrow for Tacoma against Portland at Cheney Stadium.
“Rick Adair talked to Bedard today, and he said he’s ready to go. He’s pretty excited, and we’re just as excited,” Wakamatsu said.
Bedard is penciled in to start for the Mariners on July 6 against the Royals if all goes well tomorrow. That would slot him into the rotation spot of Ryan Rowland-Smith, who also pitches tomorrow against the Yankees.