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March 21, 2013 at 10:49 PM

Mariners pitching hopeful Jon Garland: ‘I’ve shown them everything I can’

Michael Saunders watches a game-ending third strike go by him as the Mariners lose 7-4 to the Chicago Cubs in Peoria, AZ.

Michael Saunders watches a game-ending third strike go by him as the Mariners lose 7-4 to the Chicago Cubs in Peoria, AZ.

ADDITIONAL NOTE 11:02 p.m.: The Mariners just optioned OF Carlos Peguero to Class AAA and re-assigned right-handed pitcher Carson Smith and infielder Nick Franklin to minor league camp. As we discussed after Smith’s last outing, the Mariners felt he had a great camp, but view him as depth for down the road if somebody gets hurt or needs replacing.

Mariners non-roster invitee Jon Garland didn’t mince words after tonight’s 7-4 loss to the Cubs when asked about his “out” clause and when he expects to hear from the Mariners on whether or not he’s landed a job in their rotation.

“Tomorrow,” he said. “That’s my ‘out’ clause. I’m sure there have been scouts in the stands everytime I’ve thrown. They’re usually out here scouting anyway. So, if they don’t want to keep me here, I’m sure there might be a phone call. And like I said before, if not, I’ll be poolside at the house hanging out.”

Nick Franklin and teammates leave dugout after tonight's loss. Franklin was reassigned to minor league camp after the game.

Nick Franklin and teammates leave dugout after tonight’s loss. Franklin was reassigned to minor league camp after the game.

Garland feels he’s done all he can to force the team’s hand.

“I think I’ve shown them everything I can,’’ Garland said. “Now the decision’s on them. There are a lot of young arms here who have proven themselves more than worthy. So, it’s going to be a tough decision on them. And there are a lot of factors that go into making a decision to keep me or not. It’s going to be tough on them. They’re going to have to weigh heavy on it and we’ll see what they come up with.”

Mariners manager Eric Wedge said post-game he plans to meet later tonight or first thing tomorrow with GM Jack Zduriencik to figure out what the next move is.

“Obviously, we’ve got a lot of moving parts when it comes to our starting rotation,’’ Wedge said. “It’s not just about him. It’s about everybody that’s involved in this and that’s the way we’ve got to look at it.’’

Wedge was careful not to tip his hand. Garland had been lit-up by The Netherlands his last time out and there were some in the organization who wanted to see Garland bounce back and not struggle again. The fact he went the six innings was viewed very positively by both Garland and Wedge because his arm endurance is obviously a question after all that time off not pitching.

“I think that when you look at it, we have to look at — like I said — everybody involved,” Wedge said. “When you talk about breaking with a starting rotation, it’s not just about what you see in the spring. It’s the past, it’s the future and it’s right now. So, that’s what we’ve been talking about, that’s what we’ll obviously have to talk about in depth tonight, or tomorrow morning first thing in regard to Jon.”

Erasmo Ramirez, as we wrote earlier, got rocked for four runs over two innings tonight. He gave up a two-run hoemr to Brad Nelson in the eighth. Nelson is a left-handed hitter and he had two hits off Ramirez tonight. You’ll remember that Ramirez gave up a bunch of doubles to lefty hitters his last time out on balls left scarily over the plate, so that’s something to look into a bit.

Ramirez also gave up a long double to Alberto Gonzalez in tonight’s seventh inning on an 0-2 pitch served right down the heart of the plate.

“He did a good job of getting ahead but he didn’t finish hitters off,’’ Wedge said. “That’s just something that he’s got to do a better job with. He’s been throwing the ball well this spring, but tonight, for whatever reason, he just wasn’t finishing pitches off when he was ahead in the count and he got hurt by it.’’

Jason Bay didn’t get many chances at all in center, so the Mariners plan to throw him back out there tomorrow night. Bay did have three singles on some very well-hit balls.

Wedge noted that Bay went the other way on an off-speed pitch for his final single in the ninth and remains impressed with what he’s seen from the veteran overall.

As for the look in center field: “I think it is something that we have to factor in,’’ Wedge said. “He’s played out there a little bit, not a great deal. But he’s a good athlete, he’s in great shape, he’s moving around great, so we wanted to take a look at him.’’

Justin Smoak continues to look sharp from the left side, adding another home run tonight in the losing cause. The team hasn’t made any official roster moves yet, but non-roster invitee Mike Jacobs was seen saying his goodbyes in the clubhouse earlier.

Comments | More in spring training | Topics: jon garland; erasmo ramirez; jason bay; casper wells


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