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July 6, 2010 at 5:49 PM

Erik Bedard won’t start for Mariners before All-Star break

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Say, is that a new first baseman acquired by the Mariners, taking throws in the photo above? I dunno. Some guy named Wetteland. His stretch needs work, but he’s got a heck of an arm. Maybe they should work him out in the other infield corner?
Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu delivered the official team report on Erik Bedard today and it matches with what the pitcher told me last night. Bedard will sit out a few days, hoping for the swelling in his shoulder to subside. After that, he’ll try to throw a bullpen session this weekend.
But that bullpen session means he won’t be making any starts by Sunday. Don’t forget, when you throw a bullpen, you need at least a day to recover.
So, that means it’s now the second-half being targetted.
Wakamatsu said the team is hopeful Bedard can get a start once the team returns from the break. For now, the hope is that Bedard has built his arm up enough that he won’t need any stints in the bullpen or — much worse — another minor league rehabilitation outing ‘if there’s no pain and everything’s good.”
Even with the break coming up, the team figures that not too much time will have passed since Bedard’s last outing in Class AAA.
“It’s hard to tell,” Wakamatsu said. “This is something where it just might be a mild setback. We had him at 80 pitches and we’re hoping that everything goes well this weekend. Who knows?”
The cynic in me says that Cliff Lee will also very likely have been traded by then, leaving a slot in the rotation for Bedard to slide into easily without disrupting anyone else.
Not saying this is why Bedard wasn’t activated today. Just that, you never know what’s going on behind closed doors. Having Bedard miss this start makes things just a little bit easier on the team.

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Milton Bradley is still out of the lineup with a touch of soreness in his knee. He’ll once again be used in pinch-hit duty if need be, as he was last night when he struck out in the eighth inning.
The Mariners will go with Michael Saunders in left field, Russell Branyan at DH and Casey Kotchman at first base once again.
Shawn Kelley is going to resume throwing again as he attempts to work his way back off the DL.
“We’re still probably looking at a couple of weeks with him,” Wakamatsu said.
Mariners pitcher David Aardsma was sporting a Netherlands soccer jersey in the clubhouse today. The Dutch, of course, reached the World Cup final today with a 3-2 win over Uruguay and Aardsma was quite pleased.
“I’ve been following them for quite a while,” he said.
Aardsma’s grandparents and other family members hail from the Netherlands.
Having spent much time in all four of the countries involved in the World Cup Final Four, I can attest to what a big deal it is for all of them. But especially the Netherlands, which I’ve been to a dozen times and used to have family in, as well as Spain, where several friends from high school live.
I’ve spent the combined equivalent of nearly a year in both places and it’s hard to describe the frustration their fans feel at World Cup time. The two countries have some of the best teams and players (and leagues) in the world, especially the Spanish side.
But come World Cup time, they’ve both been perenial chokers. Until now, that is.
It would be like the U.S. getting beat out in baseball in the WBC every four years. Oh, wait…
Nah, more like the U.S. losing out in a tackle football tournament every year, like that under-19 thing they do at the Super Bowl. Oh, wait a minute…
Nah, forget it. Like I said earlier, it’s hard to describe what the Dutch and Spanish are going through.



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