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Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

March 1, 2014 at 7:14 AM

A few Saturday morning links and notes plus a line-up: “I wanna know, have you ever seen the rain?”

Greetings from a rainy Peoria. It’s one of those rare days in the valley where moisture actually falls from the sky. If you think people in Seattle lose their mind when it snows, it’s a similar reaction when there is precipitation in the Phoenix area. Since it’s Saturday they didn’t cancel school so that’s a bonus … and a joke …. maybe.

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Not sure if the Mariners will have a game. The city of Peoria will likely wait until the very last possible second to cancel it because lost revenue isn’t fun.

Here’s the line-ups if they do play ..

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The Angels aren’t exactly bringing a juggernaut to Peoria with the weather being foul. Technically, they’re supposed to have four “everyday” players in the line-up unless it’s a split squad. I guess you could say Conger and Calhoun are starting type players.

Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon wasn’t sure what would transpire with the weather.

“I’ve been told we could get wiped out or it could miss us altogether,” McClendon said. “We’ll just keep our fingers crossed and hope we play.”

McClendon said hitters would do their work in the cages, but pitchers who need game innings would be pushed back.

They would likely stay on rotation meaning Felix Hernandez will still make his first Cactus League starter of the year on Tuesday in Tempe against the Angels.

The news of Hisashi Iwakuma having to remain in the finger splint for three more weeks wasn’t surprising to McClendon.

“That’s what we expected,” McClendon said. “That’s what was diagnosed the first time. Am I disappointed? Yeah. But at the same time, we’ve got to get him healthy. We can’t rush this ting. The doctors have assured us this is the right thing to do. I know he’s a little disappointed. But it’s the right thing to do for his future.”

Iwakuma has been doing “shadow bullpens” and conditioning and everything except throwing. And while that’s a good thing, he still has to build up arm strength and innings.

“Somewhere around 20 innings,” McClendon said. “I’d say it would take three to four weeks.”

On that timetable, Iwakuma wouldn’t be ready to start the season in the rotation. The earliest he might come back would be the third week in April – and that’s without setbacks.

McClendon admitted that neither Iwakuma or Taijuan Walker – sidelined for seven days with shoulder inflammation – won’t be ready to be in the rotation on opening day.

“I think it would be hard pressed for those guys to pitch opening day,” McClendon said. “One of the problems we have is we don’t have any days off early. We play the first seven days in a row. Speaking realistically, it would be tough.”

Iwakuma had hoped he would be cleared by hand specialist Dr. Donald Sheridan.

“I was, honestly, disappointed,” Iwakuma said through interpreter Antony Suzuki. “Frustrated, too, at the same time. But you have to respect what the doctor says.”

Iwakuma knows that he will likely the start the season on the disabled list.

“It is very disappointing,” Iwakuma said. “You can think about it, but that doesn’t get you anywhere. You just have to move forward. I just have to come back as soon as possible and make sure I don’t have any setbacks by coming back too quickly. That’s all I can think about right now, going forward.”

Does it change McClendon’s thinking on how he’ll slot out the rotation?

“Not at all,” he said. “I always plan for the worst. Our contingency plan has been that. Like I said before, this give other guys opportunities to go out sand see what they can do. We’ll see what happens.”

Walker was shut down Friday from throwing for one week after an examination by a specialist in Los Angeles confirmed the Mariners’ diagnosis of inflammation in the bursa of his throwing shoulder.

McClendon did confirm what everyone expected – Felix Hernandez will start opening day.

“Unless you got someone else,” he quipped. “I’m trying to see if he can go opening day, the second day and the third day.”

LINKAGE

Here’s my weekly segment on SportsRadio KJR with Ian Furness and Jason Puckett. We discussed the rotation and other stuff.

For today’s paper, I wrote about the bad news for the starting rotation. 

USS Mariner’s Jeff Sullivan writes about Taijuan Walker and the injuries. It may be the first time an emoticon has been placed in a post on that site. He also writes about pitching to a park for Fangraphs

Lookout Landing’s Colin O’Keefe wrote about the same thing .

David Ortiz would have no problem with a gay teammate.

Tim McCarver is no longer doing games for Fox, which is a good thing. It sounds as though Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci will serve his replacement. 

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