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April 29, 2012 at 8:51 AM

Mariners relief pitcher George Sherrill likely done for season, to have elbow surgery in May

George Sherrill’s elbow never looked right this spring and did not get any better in two relief outings. Now, he’s going to have surgery on it early next month and is very likely done for the season.
Mariners manager Eric Wedge said this morning that “there’s a lot going on” in the elbow and the timeframe for any recovery won’t be completely known until doctors get inside for a look. But Wedge says it’s “more than likely” Sherrill won’t be back in uniform this year.
For now, the Mariners will stick with Charlie Furbush and Lucas Luetke for left-handed relief.
“These two guys have been doing pretty good,” Wedge said. “I’ve been pleased with them. And we’ve got other guys in AAA if we need them. But I’ve been pleased with Furbush and Luetke up to this point. Both young, but they’re finding their way.”
In othe news today, Alex Liddi (photo above) showed up and found out he’ll be hitting cleanup in the series finale against the Blue Jays.
Wedge wants to give Justin Smoak a “mental break” from playing, as he struggles to get his bat going from both the right and left side. Smoak’s swing has been a bit too long at times, one reason he’s hitting just .187.
Brendan Ryan is also getting a mental break, with Munenori Kawasaki playing shortstop. Ryan is in an 0-for-18 slump and hitting just .143. Wedge said Henderson Alvarez of the Blue Jays is “a tough matchup” for both Ryan and Smoak and added that he wanted John Jaso to get in a game as well.
“I feel like Brendan is really handling it well, better than I’ve seen in the past,” Wedge said. “Which he’s going to benefit from. He’s handled himself well in BP and during the game. He’s been struggling, but he’s been a pro about it and that’s going to come back to him if he keeps with him.”

Wedge said Smoak’s swing is slowly coming around.
“But having said that, we’re not taking BP today and this guy (Alvarez) I think is a tough matchup and it’s a good time to give them a day off.
“I’d like to sporadically do that as we’re playing 36 in 37 here,” he added. “We’re playing 36 games in 37 days. I’ve got to keep these guys fresh early on and not run them into the ground.”
Jesus Montero is also getting a day off.
“Montero needs a day off with his youth and whatnot,” Wedge said.
Some news on Franklin Gutierrez: he’s been throwing and hitting the past several days, but the Mariners have shut him down from running until Tuesday. At that point, he’ll test out his heel to see how recovered it is from a bout with plantar fasciitis. Then, a decision will be made on whether he can resume full workouts ahead of any injury rehabilitation assignments.
At this point, it’s looking like Gutierrez won’t be ready before June at the earliest, so those who keep worrying about where Michael Saunders fits in all this: stop worrying. Saunders has at least another month as the everyday centerfielder.
Once Mike Carp comes back, we’ll see what it means for Chone Figgins. Carp will see some action at first base and likely the DH spot as well while the club figures out where Figgins, Kyle Seager and third base fits into the equation.
Of all those guys, Saunders will likely be the east impacted for playing time. Frankly, if Saunders keeps hitting, the job is going to be Gutierrez’s to win back, not take over. Not like Gutierrez locked anything down the past two seasons. In the meantime, he’s got a bunch of ongoing physical issues to overcome.
The lineups:
LF Chone Figgins
2B Dustin Ackley
RF Ichiro
1B Alex Liddi
3B Kyle Seager
CF Michael Saunders
C Miguel Olivo
DH John Jaso
SS Munenori Kawasaki
LHP Jason Vargas
SS Yunel Escobar
2B Kelly Johnson
RF Jose Bautista
1B Adam Lind
DH Edwin Encarnacion
LF Eric Thames
3B Brett Lawrie
CF Colby Rasmus
C Jeff Mathis
RHP Henderson Alvarez

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Chone Figgins, Jesus Montero


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