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Michael Morse still leads the team with six home runs despite missing the last three games with a broken pinkie finger. The team sorely missed his bat in the middle of the order and now, he’s back in there.
“You, know, I know my body,” he said. “If it was something I should worry about, I would take a couple of more days. But I feel like I’m good. I want to be in there. I want to help this team get the ‘W’ tonight.”
And the Mariners need the help. They’ll have Franklin Gutierrez in there as well, but obviously, Morse is the game-changer bat in this lineup. The big question is whether he’ll be as effective, since the pinkie is still sore and covered with protective tape.
He took batting practice yesterday.
“I feel good,” he said. “I do have an overlapping grip, which helps me a lot. And it’s my top hand and the bottom hand’s swinging, so this is a good thing for me. It stops me from using my top hand.”
On the pitching front, Stephen Pryor said he has no idea when he’ll be ready to pitch again after suffering that torn lat muscle. Pryor has been told to shut it down until the impacted area calms down a bit from all the swelling. Once that happens, the team will devise a plan to get him back on a mound.
But Mariners manager Eric Wedge said that will take time.
“Again, we’re going to have to see how it calms down here,” Wedge said. “But it’s a substantial strain of the lat. He’s a big guy, so…how long is it going to be? We really don’t know yet. Obviously long enough for him to go on the DL, but we’re probably looking beyond that as well. Beyond the two weeks.”
To fill Pryor’s roster spot and bullpen role, the team called up Yoervis Medina from Class AAA. Medina, 24, seems to have been in the Mariners’ organization forever since he was signed way back in 2005.
He’d never pitched above AA before this year and now, the native of Venezuela has finally completed his long journey to the majors. He telephoned his family with the news last night.
“I’m happy today because it’s a good opportunity in the big leagues and it’s very important,” he said.
Medina said his family was thrilled and told him to make the most of the opportunity. Medina is known for his fastball, but also has a slider and changeup from his days as a starter. He converted to a bullpen role with AA Jackson last year and in AAA so far this season had been 0-1 wityh a 1.50 ERA and seven strikeouts in six innings.
“I throw very hard,” he said.
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