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Mariners notebook

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Toronto Blue Jays
When: 1:40 p.m.
Where: Safeco Field
Radio: ESPN 710 AM
Probable starting pitchers: Seattle left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith (0-1, 3.48 earned run average) vs. right-hander Roy Halladay (11-3, 2.62).
Bedard plan intact (for now)
The uncertain state of Erik Bedard’s left shoulder has made just about any recovery plan best written in something that can be erased.
Three days into his latest stint on the disabled list, however, Bedard seems ready to take an important step today, manager Don Wakamatsu said. Bedard will throw off the bullpen mound before today’s game in what may determine whether this is a pit stop from the starting rotation or a longer-term problem.
“He’s been taking some different anti-inflammatories than we’ve had him on in the past and he said he feels good,” manager Don Wakamatsu said Tuesday.
Bedard told the Tacoma News Tribune, however, that he still feels discomfort when he tries to lift his left arm.
The Mariners are hoping against hope that there’s no pain, and that Bedard can complete his bullpen session today. He’s eligible to come off the disabled list Aug. 10 and it’s important that he return able to deliver a reasonable pitch count. If the shoulder still hurts, Bedard could face a magnetic resonance imaging exam, an invasive procedure that would lengthen his recovery period.
The Mariners don’t want a repeat of Bedard’s last comeback from the DL, when he wasn’t stretched out and the relievers became the overworked victims of it. Bedard never threw more than 93 pitches or 52/3 innings in his four starts after spending most of June on the DL.
“We need to keep him stretched out,” Wakamatsu said.
Wakamatsu said left-hander Garrett Olson is Bedard’s likely replacement in the rotation. He was far from certain about that, however, even mentioning Class AAA pitcher Doug Fister as a possibility. Fister is 6-3 with a 3.98 ERA.
“Everything seems to be pointing toward Olson right now. We’ll see,” Wakamatsu said. “We’re still monitoring guys down in Triple A. Fister is pitching pretty good down there. We’re going to look at every option.”
Beltre the BP star
For the second straight day, Adrian Beltre was hitting balls into the upper deck in batting practice and doing his best to come back from June shoulder surgery long before expected.
Wakamatsu, however, continued to say Beltre wouldn’t play until next week when the Mariners are in Kansas City.
“He says he feels great, but our concern is not to rush it too much,” Wakamatsu said. “We don’t want to activate him and have him go right back on (the DL).”
Wakamatsu said Beltre probably won’t play any rehab games in the minor leagues. He’ll continue to get his swings in batting practice and possibly take part in a simulated game.
Around the horn
Both first baseman Russell Branyan and second baseman Jose Lopez missed their second consecutive game because of back problems. Wakamatsu believed both could be available today. … Ichiro Suzuki’s 3-for-4 game Monday was the 194th of his career with at least three hits, the most over a nine-year span since Al Simmons and Heinie Manush had 196 games with three or more hits from 1926-1934. … The temperature at first pitch Tuesday was 87, one degree shy of making it one of the 10 hottest games in Safeco Field history. The hottest was 93 on July 23, 2006, when the Mariners played the Red Sox. … Wakamatsu took a few swings before early batting practice, hitting one ball off the wall in left-center. “It reminds you that hitting is a violent act,” he said. “I think I pulled a hamstring and reinjured my wrist. … The Mariners have signed their second-round draft pick, first baseman Richard Poythress of the University of Georgia. The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle said he signed for $700,000. Their first-round pick, Dustin Ackley of North Carolina, remains unsigned. Teams must sign draft picks by Aug. 17.
Kirby Arnold, Herald Writer
Story tags » Mariners

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