Marco Scutaro 2B
Darnell McDonald RF
Victor Martinez 1B
Adrian Beltre 3B
David Ortiz DH
Jed Lowrie SS
Jason Varitek C
Bill Hall LF
Ryan Kalish CF
Daisuke Matsuzaka RHP (9-5, 4.70)
Chone Figgins 2B
Russ Branyan DH
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Casey Kotchman 1B
Jose Lopez 3B
MIchael Saunders LF
Adam Moore C
Josh Wilson SS
Luke French LHP (4-5, 3.90)
Guillermo Quiroz is in the house! The catcher was selected from Class AA West Tennessee (actually, the team is now known as the Jackson Generals) and is in uniform tonight. With three catchers, manager Daren Brown has some manueverability, but he said Adam Moore will continue to get the bulk of the starts.
Milton Bradley, recovering from knee surgery, ran light sprints today and felt good. There is an outside chance he might play during the final week of the season, but the Mariners seem to be leaning against that.
Here is the latest minor-league report
The most interesting thing to come out of Brown’s pre-game session concerned Felix Hernandez’s workload for the rest of the season as he chases the Cy Young award. The Mariners are mindful that he is getting into some heavy-duty innings totals. Hernandez leads the American League with 225 2/3, after hurling 238 2/3 last year.
Hernandez pitched his last start against the Angels on five day’s rest, rather than the normal four, and had one of his rockiest outings in a long time. He told reporters he felt too strong. Hernandez’s next outing, Friday vs. the Rangers, will also be on five day’s rest, because the M’s don’t play on Thursday.
Kirby Arnold blogged yesterday that Hernandez’s next start after that would be Sept. 23 at Toronto, also on five day’s rest, and that his final two starts would be on traditional four day’s rest, Sept. 28 against Texas and Oct. 3 against Oakland.
Today, however, Brown hedged on Hernandez’s schedule beyond Friday.
“We’ll look and kind of see what we have,” he said. “We’ve mapped out a couple of different scenarios. Ouur main objective is to take care of him. You look at 24 years old, and 225 innings, three starts, where that would put him. I don’t have any numbers off the top of my head how many 24 year olds have done that, and done it a couple of times. It’s something we’ll monitor and take a look at, but taking care of him is our No. 1 priority.”
On the issue of pitching on the sixth day as opposed to the fifth, Brown said:
“The numbers are there. I’ve seen his comments, and I understand he feels a little strong with the six days. But I also think he understands what we’re doing. I’ve said it, and I can probably put a recorder on and let you hear it again – he’s a very important part of this organization, now and in the future. Our job is to keep him healthy, give him as much rest as possible.
“Does that mean he’s going to be as sharp? When a guy pitches all year on the fifth day, that’s what he’s used to. But when you get to this point of the season, he’s also at 225 innings. He’s 24 years old. That’s something else you have to look at. He threw 238 innings last year. We see all that. Going back to first thing I said, we’re going to take care of him. I think he understands it. He might not like it. That’s the competitive heart in him, and that’s something we like about him. At the same time, we have to do what we think is best for him as well as looking into the future. We know having Felix is what’s best for Seattle. ”
I asked if there was a chance Hernandez might not get a fourth start. “I wouldn’t say that right now,” Brown said.
I also asked if the Cy Young race would factor in their decisions.
“You want to give the kid every opportunity you can to go ahead and finish what he’s been doing. But at the same time, I’ll stick with what I said, he’s important to our future. I think we have to look at that.”