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May 7, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Rehabbing Mariners closer David Aardsma goes for MRI; Eric Wedge leaning towards six-man bullpen at some point

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Don’t forget to watch Geoff Baker Live! at FX McRory’s this afternoon at 5 p.m. PT.
Some unrelated news here today, though there is a tie-in. David Aardsma was sent for a magnetic resonance imaging scan on his right forearm today and the team is still awaiting results. It is the weekend, after all.
Aardsma played catch yesterday and felt fine immediately afterward. But then, the arm began to tighten up on him, so the team played it safe and sent him to get checked out.
Not that the M’s are hurting in the bullpen at the moment. In fact, things have gone so well with the four primary guys — Brandon League, Jamey Wright, David Pauley and Aaron Laffey — that I asked manager Eric Wedge whether it had impacted his thinking at all on a six-man bullpen.
You’ll remember that, a couple of weeks ago, Wedge told me he and pitching coach Carl Willis had toyed with the idea. So, has the “four-man pen” of the past couple of weeks helped that thinking process along?
“It has, to be quite frank,” Wedge said. “Because it wasn’t just (Dan) Cortes. We had a moment there where we had three pitchers that had gone 10 or 11 days — all three of them — without pitching. So, I think that’s something you have to take into consideration. It’s something I told you, that Carl (Willis) and I have always talked about doing. We’ve only been able to do it a few times over the years. But it gives you a better position of strength with your position players in a game like last night, when someone gets kicked out and you’ve got to make moves late in a ballgame. It gives you more ammo to deal with.”

Indeed it does. We talked last night about how Milton Bradley getting ejected late left the M’s a bit hamstrung when it came to deciding whether to use a pinch runner once Jack Cust singled with one out in the ninth. Wege opted not to and only put the runner in after a Jack Wilson single moved Cust to second with one out.
Wedge said last night that the Bradley ejection didn’t really play into the decision to put off the pinch-runner at the start. But today, Wedge revisited that issue — unprompted by media — and said: “You’ve got to look around the corner, too. If I’ve got guys that I can afford to do that with, then you can go ahead and do that. Even though you’re taking a chance of potentially not scoring a run and burning a player. But if you’ve got other players you can burn beyond that, then you’re willing to take that chance.”
Bradley is back in there today, by the way, playing left field and batting third.
Wedge won’t put a timetable on possibly going to a six-man pen. But for now, at least, it’s on his mind.
Miguel Olivo is finally out from behind home plate after 11 straight games. Chris Gimenez is in there. Olivo will be back in tomorrow.
The lineups:
LF Juan Pierre
SS Alexei Ramirez
DH Adam Dunn
1B Paul Konerko
RF Carlos Quentin
C A.J. Pierzynski
CF Alex Rios
2B Gordon Beckham
3B Brent Morel
RHP Gavin Floyd
RF Ichiro
3B Chone Figgins
LF Milton Bradley
2B Adam Kennedy
1B Justin Smoak
DH Jack Cust
SS Brendan Ryan
CF Michael Saunders
C Chris Gimenez
RHP Doug Fister

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Chone Figgins


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