(Former Mariner Mike Morse chats with Seattle trainer Rick Griffin before batting practice today, with Jayson Werth in the background).
The news on Brandon League, who had to leave Tuesday’s game after getting hit below his right calf, is promising. He was feeling better than he expected and moving around well. Manager Eric Wedge said he’ll decide after batting practice if League will be available to closer tonight.
“It will probably be a game-time decision,” Wedge said. “If he’s not available, I’m just going to match up. We’ll see how it plays out late. If I have to use (David) Pauley) or (Aaron) Laffey or (Chris) Ray or whoever it may be, we’ll do what we have to do to finish it off.”
Wedge said he’ll make his determination on League based on “how he feels after moving around, after being out here on his feet. We’ll look at it after BP. The reports were pretty good. We’re optimistic, for sure. He’s feeling better than we thought he was going to feel. He was scuffling last night, man.”
Wedge said he wouldn’t let League talk him into staying in the game.
“That’s my job to read body language. I could tell he was not coming off the rubber like he normally does (on his warmup pitches). His face wasn’t looking real good. It was the right thing to get him out of there.”
As for David Pauley, he was much more upbeat today than last night, when he was understanably upset. He said he’s anxious to get back out there, and Wedge indicated he won’t hesitate doing just that.
“I think he’s moved on,” Wedge said. “I talked to him last night. I said, ‘You know what, you’re pitching in a role that’s new for you. It’s an important role, and something like that it’s going to happen. At some point in time, it’s going to happen again. But you’ll be better for it. You got better today, because you’ll handle it the way you need to handle it, and be ready to go and help us win a game tomorrow.’ ”
Wedge also explained why Dustin Ackley wasn’t in the lineup against Nationals iefty John Lannan. It’s his first time not in the lineup since coming up from Tacoma.
“Give him a day. Three quick games in this heat. Tough lefty. It’s a good time to get him out of there. Then play tomorrow and we’ve got a lot of night games in a row, so it will work out well for him,” Wedge said. “He’s been playing ever since he got up here. It will be a good chance to watch the guys. Who knows, maybe we’ll need him late.”
Wedge clarified that sitting Ackley against left-handers is not going to be a routine practice (and he did start against Cole Hamels, with at triple to show for it ).
“He’s an every-day guy,” Wedge said. “But obviously, it makes sense, when you do give him a day off, you do it against a left-hander.”
I asked Wedge about Justin Smoak’s night on Tuesday, which included getting doubled off third base on a foul out, and a costly error in the ninth.
“That was kind of a funky play at third base,” he said. “It was one of those things where he got caught off guard. He was still safe, but anyway. That doesn’t really matter, I guess. Tough play late in the game. But you know what? He’s been great. You’re going to have tough moments, you’re going to have tough days. The kid shows up, gets after it, works hard to get better every day. He’s been a great contributor. He’s been in the middle of our lineup. I think we have to all remember this is really his first…not really, it is his first full big-league season. I’ve been very pleased with what I’ve seen.”