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July 29, 2011 at 5:10 PM

Eric Wedge talks about Jack Cust and other pregame notes

When asked about the Mariners’ decision to part ways with designated hitter Jack Cust, manager Eric Wedge said, “it was time to move on.”
Cust was designated for assignment Friday, making room for left-hander Erik Bedard to come off the disabled list and start the first game of a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays.
“A class act, pro,” Wedge said. “He (Cust) was good in the clubhouse, a good teammate, hard worker. (He) really just wasn’t able to get it going for us this year. It’s not for anything in regard to lack of effort or dedication or focus, because he was in it each and every day, but just wasn’t able to get it going.”
The Mariners have 10 days to trade, release or outright the 32-year-old’s contract. He had played sparingly of late, and was hitting .213 with three home runs and 23 RBI in 67 games for the Mariners. Wedge said the organization decided to make a move with a position player over a pitcher, because it gives the team more options.
“The fact of the matter is, you’ve got to look beyond today,” Wedge said. “There’s nothing more important than today’s game but, having said that, you’ve got to pay attention to tomorrow, next week and even next year.”


One option the move creates is for the Mariners to try a six-man rotation at some point. It would provide extra rest for ace Felix Hernandez and the team’s younger arms. The change isn’t imminent, but Wedge said it’s a possibility.
“There’s always a possibility of that, because you know, when you talk about guys that are pitching this year we’ve got some youth,” Wedge said. “I don’t think there’s quite the necessity to push Felix like there was last year and like we did early on this year.”
Wedge was asked how Cust took the news and he said the veteran handled it “like a pro. He didn’t say much.”
The Mariners also traded outfielder Ryan Langerhans to the Arizona Diamondbacks for cash considerations. Outfielder Wily Mo Pena will take his spot on the Tacoma Rainiers’ roster. Pena was acquired this week after being released by the Diamondbacks.
Langerhans was acquired in 2009 deal with the Washington Nationals for Mike Morse. Langerhans hit .173 in 19 games for the Mariners, but spent most of the season in Tacoma. Morse, on the other hand, is hitting .310 for the Nationals.
Erik Bedard returns to the mound
Left-hander Erik Bedard returns to the mound for the first time since June 27 tonight. He’s been on the disabled list with a strained knee and tonight’s game could be an audition of sorts for contenders looking to bolster their rotation.
“The only time you get in trouble is when you try to more than what you’re capable of doing. I just want him to give us a chance to win the ballgame,” said Wedge when asked about Bedard before the game.

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