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September 21, 2014 at 8:48 AM

Sunday’s pregame notes and lineups: Mariners at Astros

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Manager Lloyd McClendon hasn’t made a decision on whether Chris Young will start on Thursday in Toronto as scheduled.

“We’re talking,” McClendon said. “We haven’t come to any decision as of yet.”

Really he doesn’t have many options. There are two.

1. Start Erasmo Ramirez in his place. It’s like asking do you want to be punched in the face or the stomach. Is the unpredictable Ramirez a better option than a struggling Young? Perhaps you can steal four or five innings from him.

2. Bullpen start led by Tom Wilhelmsen. This seems to be what many fans want. It seems doable with the added arms in the bullpen. But with Taijuan Walker now in the rotation, that’s one less long arm. Scheduling Wilhelmsen for that would likely mean losing your most versatile reliever for the two games before the start and the two games after the start. The Mariners may wait and see if they need to use Wilhelmsen in the first three days of the series against the Blue Jays and then go from there.

 

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One option that isn’t available is Roenis Elias. The young lefthander had favorable reports from visit with team doctors. The results of the MRI come back on Monday. If all goes well, Elias could be used for one or two batters in relief. But starting? No.

“We’ve maxed him out in his innings as a starter,” McClendon said. “He’s been stretched. We have to think about the future. It’s highly unlikely that we’ll see him as a starter.”

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Here’s Collin McHugh’s numbers since the all-star break.

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“He’s been impressive and he’s been tough on us,” McClendon said. “I wish he hadn’t left the Mets.”

Here’s the Mariners’ numbers vs. McHugh ….

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From earlier

Pretty much the same lineup as Friday. Mike Zunino is playing day game after night game with Iwakuma on the mound. I’m guessing Jesus Sucre will catch James Paxton tomorrow in Toronto.

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