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July 31, 2011 at 11:56 AM

Pre-game notes with Eric Wedge, Casper Wells, Charlie Furbush

About one hour to go until the trade deadline. Eric Wedge said he’s been in constant contact with Jack Zduriencik this morning and that “there’s always a possibility” of a trade. “Jack’s been working like crazy. I’m sure he’ll take that all the way through 1 o’clock.”
In the meantime, here are a couple of notes. Wedge said he met this morning with his two new players acquired from Detroit, LHP Charlie Furbush and outfielder Casper Wells, who gets the start in left.
Wedge says he’s going to use Furbush out of the bullpen initially. “But I think there’s a good chance that at some point in time he’ll get some starts for us, too,” he said. “With Wells, he can play all three in the outfield. He was playing primarily against lefties over there, but I want to see him more regularly than that. He can play center, too. We’ll see him out there at some point.”
Furbush, he said, threw more than 90 pitches in a Triple-A start on July 14, “so he’s not too far removed (from being built up), which helps us.”
As for Furbush’s current role, “Obviously he could be a multiple-inning guy, he could be a left-on-left guy. I think it’s going to be really what we need. I want to see him pitch, which is why I’m a little intrigued to start him, just to watch him pitch, versus facing a couple of hitters or throwing an inning or two.


As for David Pauley’s old role as a bridge to closer Brandon League, “We used Jeff Gray in that role yesterday and he did an outstanding job. Between Gray, and Jamey Wright’s a guy that’s done a little of everything down there, and have the two young kids, Cortes and Lueke, we want to get a look at.”
Greg Halman could be the odd man out with the arrival of Wells. “Yeah, he’s going tohave to fight for some time,” Wedge said. “But we’ll get him in when we can. e needs to keep working. He’s a good worker. He got off to a good start, but he’s been struggling lately. That’s part of being a young player. We’ll have to juggle time. We want to continue to find out about guys.”
We also had a chance to talk to Wells and Furbush. Wells, an outgoing sort, began by explaining his twitter handle, @upstateballer:
“I grew up in upstate New York (Schenectady), so it seemed kind of fitting. I’m from upstate and I play baseball, so upstateballer. Most people relate it to basketball with the baller thing.”
His reaction to the trade was positive, he said. Turns out that Furbush and Wells live in the same apartment complex, so that worked out conveniently.
“I found out when I was watching television,” Wells said. “I didn’t get a phone call. I was eating breakfast and almost spit my food out. Me and Charlie, me and him live in the same building. We’re on a month-to-month lease in the same building in downtown Detroit because there’s no housing available.
“I rode down the elevator and knocked on his door and said, ‘Hey man, we’re going to Seattle.’ It was pretty exciting for both of us. I had all smiles on the flight over here, seeing the beautiful mountains. It was awesome.
“His phone started blowing up from people texting him, saying ‘Good luck.’ Good luck for what? He didn’t know what was going on. You never know until it’s official, but I still started packing up my stuff because I’ve got tons of stuff in my place. When it became official, I had to get out here real quick.”
He said it “helps tremendous” to join a new team with a friend like Furbush.
“It’s a good feel and atmosphere with a young team,” he said. “It’s a different feeling and I’m every excited to be here. I’m eager to play. I haven’t played in a couple of days, so I’m chomping at the bit to get out there and play.
“This is a beautiful field. When I came here earlier in the year, I was a little overwhelmed at how big it is. It’s the same size as Qwest Field when I was driving by. ‘I’m going to play in this thing?’ When I got out on the field, I was like wow, this place is so nice. You can breathe. This is nice because you can breathe out here.”
Wells sees “a tremendous opportunity” to establish himself in Seattle. “With the role you’re placed with a team that’s doing well like Detroit, you have a limited role with some of the guys they have. I feel like I have an opportunity to play a lot more here. Skip said he wants to get a good look at me. That’s all I ask for, just to get an opportunity.”
Finally, he was asked about his first name, a question he took in stride. “I’m the fifth Casper Wells. Casper Charles Wells Jr. My dad has the same name as me. But it’s been around for five generations, so you can talk to my great great grandfather about that one.
“It was around before the cartoon, so the friendly ghost jokes can be put aside. I don’t hear them that much from the away fans. Sometimes they say I should thank my parents for naming me that. But I’m the fifth, so take it up with my great great grandfather.”
Here’s some of what Furbush had to say (I’m doing this quickly so I can get back to trade deadline stuff:
“It happened pretty quick, that’s for sure. I found out the news yesterday. I had to pack up my place and head on a plane to get here. It’s part of the business. I’m excited and looking forward to see what happens.”
He said he prefers startijng. “I do. We’ll see what happens. I was talking to Wedge about it. We’ll kind of take it a day at a time and go from there.”
How close to being stretched out enough to start?: “I mean, I’d like to say I could go right now. But at the end of the day, they’re probably going to stretch me out at least a couple times before they put me in the rotation.”
He has some connections to Mariner players. “I played against Smoak in college and there’s a couple other guys I met along the way. Right now it’s been an easy transition. Seems like a good group of guys, so it’s been good. I know Luke French. And lived with Matt Mangini in 2006 in the Cape League, so it’s cool just to be part of the same organization now.”

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