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August 13, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Mariner pre-game notes: Carp, Gutierrez, Montero, Wells and more

I mentioned in the previous blog how well the Rays have done since Evan Longoria returned to the lineup — six wins in six games. Good news for the Mariners tonight — Longoria is not in the lineup tonight.
Here’s the Rays lineup:
Desmond Jennings 7
B.J. Upton DH
Matt Joyce 9
Ben Zobrist 6
Jeff Keppinger 5
Carlos Pena 3
Ryan Roberts 4,
Jose Molina 2
Sam Fuld 8
Alex Cobb RHP (6-8, 4.32)
Also not in the lineup, as mentioned, is Mike Carp, who injured his hip yesterday. The results of his MRI exam still hadn’t been read when we talked to manager Eric Wedge, so there’s no word yet on the severity of the injury. I asked Wedge about the possibility of Jesus Montero playing first base — he’s been working out there for awhile — but Wedge said he’s not ready.
“Not yet. He’s still working on it,” he said. “We’re not going to put him out there until we feel he’s ready for it.”
Might that be this season?
“It’s a possibility,” he said.

Wedge said that Franklin Gutierrez, who has still been bothered by headaches in the wake of his concussion on June 29, has “switched up some of his meds. He’ll be be exercising today, get back to baseball activities tomorrow, and keep progressing from there.”
Gutierrez had been scheduled to begin a rehab assignment yesterday with Everett, but more headache issues cropped up, now being attributed to an inner-ear problem rather than the concussion. Whatever the cause, the frustration is mounting regarding Gutierrez, who played just 92 games last year and has been limited to 13 this year.
“It’s been tough,” Wedge said. “Nobody’s more frustrated than Gut. I think everyone understands that, with the emotional rollercoaster he’s been on. But obviously, it’s a big loss for us. It’s a big loss defensively, it’s a big loss offensively – a veteran right-handed bat we could really use. And obviously, what he means for us in the outfield, being able to spread other people around. That had a big impact on us, too.
“I know what he’s capable of doing; I just haven’t seen it other than in short spurts since I’ve been here. We’re a completely different lineup with him in there.”
I asked Wedge about Casper Wells, out of the lineup for the third straight game. He said he’ll return tomorrow against Tampa Bay’s left-handed starter, Matt Moore.
“I’ve been taking a better look at (Eric) Thames and Trayvon (Robinson),” he said. “I’m just trying to put the best lineup out there. Casper has been struggling a little lately. We’ll give him a couple of days and get him back in there against the left-hander tomorrow and go from there.”
Wedge was saddened by the death of Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky, whom he befriended during his time in the Boston organization.
“It’s a sad day for baseball, a sad day for the Pesky family, all his family and friends and fans out there,” Wedge said. “I knew Johnny from the time I signed in 1989, and I’ve stayed in touch with him over the years. I’ve learned a great deal from him, as have so many. It’s a sad day, but what a wonderful life he had. Ninety-two years, and he did so much in his lifetime, and for so many other people, too. He just had a lot to offer. Every day was a great day for him. A very upbeat guy.”
As noted elsewhere, Mike Zunino was promoted to Class AA Jackson after tearing up the Northwest League with Everett. It’s a big jump, but Wedge said, “He’s a mature young man, from a major college. I think he’ll make that transition without any problem.”

Comments | Topics: Jesus Montero, Mike Zunino


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