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

June 6, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Friday’s pregame notes and line-ups vs. the Rays and Erik Bedard

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 4.36.20 PM

Update 6:05 p.m.

Here’s my weekly Friday hit on KJR with Ian Furness and Jason Puckett (Can you save over-saturated?). After the initial talk of three creepy old dudes talking about WSU and pretty coeds, we get down to some baseball discussion.

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Update 4:38 p.m. 

Let’s get to the news first …

There is nothing wrong with Mike Zunino. McClendon is hoping to get him a nice little break while taking advantage of Buck’s success against Erik Bedard.

“Zunino is fine,” McClendon said. “He’ll probably catch all three day games. It’s a chance to get Buck in there and at the same time get my regular catcher is going to have three days off.”

Zunino has taken his share of shots behind the plate, but he’s held up pretty well.

“He’s fine,” McClendon said. “He’s a big strong kid. But they all get tired at some point and you’ve got to be smart and pick and choose those days off and be intelligent with it. Hopefully this works.”

McClendon still hasn’t named his Monday starter. But it won’t be Hisashi Iwakuma, who will get an extra day between starts.

“As of right now, we are staying on rotation,” McClendon said.

Notice he didn’t name who would be starting. That wasn’t an accident. I’d be highly surprised if Erasmo Ramirez starts that game. McClendon confirmed that Taijuan Walker will stay on the same rotation  as well. So he’s a possibility, though I think they’d prefer him to make at least one more start with Class AAA Tacoma. But that would allow him to take that spot if it goes well.

If it’s not Ramirez or Walker, the Mariners could use  Matt Palmer, who threw last night for Tacoma. He was on a 55-pitch limit. Seattle would have to make a 40-man roster move for that. They could do a Johnny All-Staff and start a reliever and go with all relievers and use Ramirez if it got out of hand, but not ideal when you have 20 games in 20 days coming up.

So Iwakuma will pitch on Tuesday at Safeco Field against the Yankees. Barring a change, the Yankees would start Masahiro Tanaka in that game.

“That’s a hell of a match-up,” McClendon said.

Why give Iwakuma or any pitcher that extra day if possible?

“It’s the right thing to do,” McClendon said. “It’s the smart thing to do. I don’t know what kind of results we are going to get. But pitching is our backbone, our foundation and we better do everything can to try and take it care of it. And giving a guy the extra day whenever you can get it, to me, is just the right thing to do.  Sometimes you don’t get the match-up that you’d like to have. But that’s just the way it is.”

McClendon was asked about his memories of Don Zimmer, who passed away a few days ago. McClendon played for Zimmer on the 1989 Cubs team that reached the NLCS. He also became friends with Zimmer over the year. They spend many a day at the horse track – a big place for manager around MLB.

“I got a lot of favorite stories, most of them I can’t share with you,” McClendon said. “I got up yesterday and I was getting ready to go to the track and I realized Zim was not picking me up. Jim (Leyland) and I had been going to the track with him the last eight or nine years. I will miss that. I will miss him telling me he’s out of bullets.”

And that 89 season?

“It was a hell of a ride,” McClendon said. “Zim didn’t give a s&%* about anybody or anything – he did it his way. He didn’t care what anyone else thought and we went at it pretty good. It was a hell of a year. We had a lot of fun that year.”

How should Zimmer be remembered?

“I’m sure there’s some that like him, some that love him and some really don’t care either way,” McClendon said. “But Zim was an institution. Somebody was saying the advisor to the Tampa Bay Rays and that’s true. But he was the mentor to a lot of us. Hewas certainly a mentor to me. I was proud that he was my skipper. I learned a lot from him. I learned a lot about the horses too. He always told me, ‘someone’s got to win the $%^&ing race, go bet the money.'”

“I lost a lot of money  in his honor, yes, I did. I was out of bullets at the end of the day.”

From earlier

No Rays line-up out yet. Not sure if Mike Zunino is dinged up. It doesn’t seem that way since he was taking early batting practice. Buck has decent numbers against Bedard in a small sample size (4-for-7) and by doing this, it gives Zunino two days off in a row which is never a bad thing. He’s played a lot and taken a pretty good beating as well.

We meet with McClendon at 3:30 p.m Longoria time. I’m sure we’ll ask him about Don Zimmer, whom he played for with the Cubs in 1989.

Here’s the Mariners numbers vs. Erik Bedard from Baseball Reference.

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 3.00.28 PM

For people curious, the Mariners will hold a small ceremony to honor Derek Jeter in the upcoming series before Tuesday’s game. Here’s the schedule for it.

  • 6:50 p.m. — Video introduction
  • 6:51:30 p.m. — Derek Jeter is introduced
  • 6:52:30 p.m. — Gifts and donation are presented
  • 6:54 — Presentation concludes

Official game notes …

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