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April 18, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Pre-game notes and lineup

I’m filling in for Geoff Baker tonight and arrived pre-game to find no Mariners available to interview. Instead, they were all out on the field for some mandatory team-wide early work.
The easy assumption is that it’s because the team is 5-11 and essentially read the riot act by manager Eric Wedge after a sloppy loss Saturday in Kansas City.
But Wedge insisted in his pre-game meeting with the media the workout is simply something he hopes to do on a semi-regular occurrence. The workout consisted mostly of relays and cutoffs and pitchers covering first base (and there was a brief gasp when Felix Hernandez stretched awkwardly covering first, though he immediately indicated he was fine).
“Every now and again we will do that,” he said. “You work every day in spring training and then you get caught up in the games. Of course we work out before each game, but it’s good to get the pitchers involved and just do a few cutoffs and relays and just get them out there. You work so hard all spring to get to a point, you want to make sure every now and again you go out there and try to stay sharp.
“We’ll do it every now and again during the season. You just want to make sure you stay on top of everything. It’s nothing out of the ordinary. I’ve been asked about it quite a bit today, but it’s just someting we will do just to stay on top of everything. It’s the big leagues and we want to make sure we are as prepared as we can be and stay on top of it.”
In other news. …
— Wedge said CF Franklin Gutierrez will head to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota tomorrow (Tuesday) in the latest effort to solve the mystery of his stomach issues. He said that “we don’t have any schedule for him beyond that.” Obviously, another setback for Gutierrez and the Mariners — when I covered last Monday, Gutierrez met with the media and indicated he could return soon.
— Wedge said reliever David Aardsma, continuing to recover from off-season hip surgery, is scheduled to pitch in Tacoma tomorrow night, the first of three or four rehab assignments before he would be called back to Seattle. He said Aardsma will pitch somewhere in relief, though not to close (not in the first outing, anyway). “We’ll see how tomorrow goes and then go from there,” he said.
— Asked if it was important to play well on this homestand given the 5-11 start, Wedge said: “We’re looking to play better. We’re looking to go out there and continue to make progress. It’s a long season — we’re only 15-16 games in or whatever. We’ve got a long way to go, so we’ve just got to make sure with each and every day we are moving in the right direction. And if you have a bad day, you can still move in the right direction from learning from it, and that’s what we have to do.”
— Now for tonight’s Mariner lineup:
Ichiro, RF
Chone Figgins, 3B
Milton Bradley, LF
Jack Cust, DH
Justin Smoak, 1B
Adam Kennedy, 2B
Miguel Olivo, C
Ryan Langerhans, CF
Brendan Ryan, SS
Jason Vargas, P

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Chone Figgins

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