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July 30, 2012 at 5:15 PM

Monday pre-game notes as Mariners’ wait out trade deadline

Mariners (47-57)
13 Dustin Ackley (L) 2B
55 Michael Saunders (L) CF
63 Jesus Montero C
27 John Jaso (L) DH
15 Kyle Seager (L) 3B
33 Casper Wells LF
20 Mike Carp (L) 1B
4 Carlos Peguero (L) RF
26 Brendan Ryan SS
18 Hisashi Iwakuma RHP
Blue Jays (51-50)
11 Rajai Davis DH
28 Colby Rasmus (L) CF
13 Brett Lawrie 3B
10 Edwin Encarnacion 1B
45 Travis Snider (L) LF
5 Yunel Escobar SS
2 Kelly Johnson (L) 2B
6 Jeff Mathis C
43 Anthony Gose (L) RF
24 Ricky Romero LHP
Jon Heyman of CBS Sportsline just tweeted that the Mariners turned down the Yankees’ bid for shortstop Brendan Ryan. He could be more coveted than people realize in these final hours before Tuesday’s 1 p.m. (Seattle time) deadline for making non-waiver trades. Besides being arguably the best defensive shortstop in baseball, Ryan is actually starting to swing the bat better, his .196 batting average not withstanding. He’s batting .260 (27-for-104) with 14 RBI over his last 35 games, since June 16.
“This guy has a good swing when he’s right,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “There’s no reason he shouldn’t be a better hitter. That’s the fact of the matter. He has some experience, and you’re seeing him put up very competitive at-bats and giving himself a chance right now. He just has to understand and be more even-keel offensively like he is defensively. I think he’s handling his failures a little better offensively, not critiquing himself quite as much. He just has to let it happen instead of forcing it all the time. He really tries to force it too much offensively. He’s letting go a little bit more and that’s helping him.”

I covered some of the trade rumors in this Hot Stone League blog post earlier today. Wedge doesn’t believe the players are distracted. It helps that most of the players being mentioned in rumors are veterans like Brandon League, Jason Vargas and Kevin Millwood, who have been through this before.
“I think it’s always a little different the last week, the last couple of days, before the trade deadline, but that’s in every clubhouse,” he said. “The veteran clubhouses usually handle it best because they’ve been down that road before. Our guys have been all right, for the most part.”
Wedge hasn’t felt the need to address the team about dealing with the speculation.
“At times, I speak through you guys (the media),” he said. “It’s just part of being a big leaguer, being a pro. It comes with the territory. It’s not going to change from year to year. It’s always going to come around at the same time. You just have to handle it. Wherever you are is where you are. You have to keep your mind in the moment, focus on the task at hand, and do what you have to do. Our guys are here, they’re playing for the Mariners. Proud to have them. Let’s go out and win a ballgame.
“It’s just all over the place. It’s all speculation. Nine out of 10 times, or 95 out of 100, there’s not much truth to what’s out there. You just have to wait and see.”
Meanwhile, Wedge hopes the Mariners have turned a corner. They are 13-11 in July, and 11-6 since the All-Star break.
“I think the guys are playing a little more tension free,” he said. “They understand a little better how to walk that line, understanding the sense of urgency yet being able to relax and work through that. I think that’s a big part of it. You want to be able to come out here and be as relaxed as you can be while you go out and compete at your highest level. I think they’re getting closer to that.”
One player currently thriving is Mike Carp, who has had at least one RBI in five straight games, the longest streak for a Mariner since Carp had an RBI in six straight games last Aug. 9-15. Carp is hitting .533 (8-for-15) with a homer and two doubles in his last four games. Since coming off the DL for the second time, he is hitting .381 with a .619 slugging percentage and 1.010 OPS in six games.
“It’s about getting in a rhythm,” Carp said. “I had no chance to get going this season. I was hurt all year. I’m finally starting to feel healthy and move past the injury. I’m feeling pretty good lately.”
The Everett AquaSox made their annual appearance today, standing near the field to watch batting practice and then tour the clubhouse.
Wedge said that Franklin Gutierrez (concussion) ran through more medical tests after having a good day of workouts yesterday. Gutierrez hasbeen running, shagging, and taking some batting practice. “We’ll keep pushing forward, and keep a close eye on him,” Wedge said. “Hopefully, everything comes back good and we’ll keep him going.”
Charlie Furbush (left triceps strain) has been throwing on flat ground, working toward a bullpen session.

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Dustin Ackley, Hisashi Iwakuma


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