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June 12, 2012 at 5:15 PM

Mariners not prepared to make any roster changes yet

NOTE: If you missed my Talkin’ Baseball segment this morning on Sports Radio KJR’s Mitch in the Morning show, click on the link above.
We’ll get to see Felix Hernandez make his return tonight after an 11-day injury layoff. When we won’t be seeing — at least not yet — are any roster changes by a Mariners team that could face a rough go of it on the pitching side these next few games.
Hector Noesi is still scheduled to pitch tomorrow night, despite some struggles his last few times out — especially in 0-2 counts. Kevin Millwood is recovering from that groin strain, but is progressing well and could make his start on Thursday. For now, his spot is still listed as TBA.

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After that, you’ll have Jason Vargas going on Friday and then Blake Beavan — for now — is scheduled to have another go of it on Saturday. Beavan seems the most vulnerable of the group when it comes to a demotion to Class AAA, with Erasmo Ramirez the most likely candidate to be promoted to the big leagues.
Beavan told me today he’s treating his last three outings as a rough patch that he’ll need to get through. He said he spent too much of the past outings worrying about the breaks he wasn’t getting, either on hits or calls by the umpire. Instead, he said, he needs to stay positive and focus on the things that he can do to change his results in any given outing.
For now, Mariners manager Eric Wedge seems ready to give Beavan another chance at the mound.
“With Blake, it all starts with his fastball command,” Wedge said. “That’s what really led him to the success he’s had up here. Throwing his fastball where he wants to, and being confident with it and moving it around accordingly, depending on the hitter.
“You’d still like to see his secondary stuff continue to get better, get more consistent,” Wedge said. “Whether it be for a strike, or out of the zone with two strikes.”
Wedge would also like to see Beavan get ahead more. Beavan told me his curveball is not to the point where he can use it to get ahead in the count, as he would his fastball.
“When it comes to late in the count, I can bury it in the dirt every time if I have to,” Beavan said. “But it’s using it to get ahead that’s been the problem.”
Here’s the thing, though. There’s still some time to go between now and Saturday.
With so much uncertainty in the rotation right now, it’s possible Wedge and company are merely waiting to see more unfold before they react.


For instance, if Noesi was to implode early tomorrrow night and require the Mariners to use both of Hisashi Iwakuma and Charlie Furbush to any lengthy degree, that would leave them shorthanded for Millwood’s outing. Now, if Millwood can’t make his start Thursday, the M’s would likely call up Ramirez from AAA right away, or else just bump the other starting pitchers up a day and have Vargas go in Millwood’s spot.
But if Millwood can go and he, too, is forced to an early exit, the Mariners might be caught a bit short in the bullpen if Iwakuma and Furbish have already been used over multiple innings. That’s where Beavan comes in.
Having pitched just two innings on Saturday, Beavan could be called upon as a long reliever on short rest and then have somebody else make a start in his place on Saturday.
There are plenty of options for this team.
It’s also possible the Mariners don’t feel Beavan is showing all he can and will bounce back from these recent starts. So, we’ll see.
“We’ve got multiple plans here ahead of us,” Wedge said. “We know what we’re going to do if this should happen, or that should happen, or whatever.”
By the way, the Mariners have agreed to terms with second-round draft pick Joe DeCarlo, a high school third baseman who is in Seattle to finalize the deal. De Carlo was given a tour of the dugout, clubhouse and field this afternoon and we got to meet him. Looks about 10 years older than a kid just finishing up high school, so that’s a good sign.
The lineups:
PADRES
RF Will Venable
2B Logan Forsythe
3B Chase Headley
DH Carlos Quentin
1B Yonder Alonso
LF Chris Denorfia
CF Cameron Maybin
C Nick Hundley
SS Everth Cabrera
LHP Clayton Richard
MARINERS
RF Ichiro
2B Dustin Ackley
DH Jesus Montero
3B Kyle Seager
1B Justin Smoak
C Miguel Olivo
CF Michael Saunders
LF Chone Figgins
SS Brendan REyan
RHP Felix Hernandez

Comments | Topics: Chone Figgins, Hisashi Iwakuma, Jesus Montero

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