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July 4, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Noesi’s future in Mariner rotation in doubt

(Photo by Associated Press)
That’s Chris Tillman above, in the midst of totally dominating the Mariners today. Adam Jones hit a home run. Yeah, I know — that trade stunk. I’ve already written that angle, and I’m really not interested in re-hashing it. We all know now that the Mariners blew it with the Erik Bedard deal. Not much you can do about it now — although, man, would Adam Jones look good in the Mariners’ outfield right now.
Sorry about that.
Right now, the Mariners have to deal with problems in the here and now. Like Hector Noesi, who struggled again while losing his 11th game, most in the majors. I’m not seeing much progress with him. After going 0-4 with a 6.96 ERA in June, he starts July with another sub-par performance — five innings, seven hits, four runs, and the 20th homer he’s allowed this season. By Jones, naturally.

Frankly, I’d be surprised if Noesi remains in the rotation. With Kevin Millwood coming off the DL Sunday, they could keep Hisashi Iwakuma in the rotation in Noesi’s spot, and either move Noesi to the bullpen or, more likely, send him to Tacoma. Wedge certainly didn’t offer any assurances that Noesi would keep his job.
“That’s a good question, a fair question. We’re in the process of evaluating everything,” he said. “I’ve been very clear, I’ve been very patient. I think we’ve been patient as an organization. But I think there’s a time and a place to make some changes. As we head into the break, we’re going to evaluate where we are with everybody.”
The Mariners also have to figure out how to hit at Safeco Field. They are now hitting .195 in their home ballpark in 41 games — a little more than half the season. They are scoring 2.85 runs per game at home. Here are some of their averages on this 10-game homestand: Jesus Montero .111 (3-for-27), Miguel Olivo .200 (5-for-25), Brendan Ryan .211 (4-for-19), Michael Saunders .095 (2-for-21), Kyle Seager .094 (3-for-32), Justin Smoak .156 (5-for-32), Ichiro .175 (7-for-40), Casper Wells .179 (5-for-28), Dustin Ackley .200 (6-for-30). The only guy who hit at all respectably was John Jaso at .381 (8-for-21).
The team is heading out to Oakland for three games before the All-Star break, but manager Eric Wedge doesn’t want them to look at it like a respite.
“I would rather stay here and grind through this and figure it out,” he said. “That’s my attitude, and that should be their attitude, too. You can’t run away from it. You have to look it right in the eye. This is where we play. It’s a great place to play. These guys have to figure out how to be at their very best here. That’s what we’re going to keep pushing to them.”
One final note before I head out to join my family in a Fourth of July celebration:
In the clubhouse after Wednesday’s game, Jesus Montero said he was “still dizzy” as a result of the foul tip off his facemask in the fifth inning.
Montero suffered what Wedge called “a very mild concussion.” He doesn’t believe Montero will have to go on the new seven-day disabled list for players with concussions. Franklin Gutierrez is currently on that list and out at least until the All-Star break.
“We don’t think it’s anything similar to Gut, but we’re going to evaluate him tomorrow and make that decision,” Wedge said.
Montero appeared to lose his balance as he was being examined by trainer Rob Nodine. The Mariners pulled him and put in Miguel Olivo behind the plate to finish the game.
“He was just a little bit off, a little bit dizzy,” Wedge said. “Rob did the test. We didn’t feel comfortable pushing him through that.”
Montero says he thinks he’ll be fine.
“It happens. It happens to every catcher. It wasn’t good that it hit my face. I felt dizzy. Thank God nothing happened. The catcher always get that, so we have to be tough. You have to fight. It’s hard.”
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Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Hisashi Iwakuma, Jesus Montero


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