By Nick Patterson Herald Writer
Opponent: Vancouver Canadians
When: 7:05 p.m.
Where: Everett Memorial Stadium
Radio: KRKO (1380 AM)
Probable starting pitchers: Everett left-hander Rusty Shellhorn (1-0, 4.09 earned run average) vs. Vancouver right-hander Eric Brown (1-4, 7.63)
The Everett AquaSox actually might have something resembling a starting rotation again.
After an eight-day period in which the day’s starter seemed constantly subject to change, the Sox have settled back into something resembling normalcy, beginning with Dylan Unsworth’s start Wednesday.
“We’ve kind of had a carousel,” Everett manager Rob Mummau said.
In the eight games prior to Wednesday, the Sox used seven different starters. The crux of the problem was injuries to starters Steven Ewing and Jose Valdivia. Ewing was sidelined because of a strained latissimus dorsi muscle and Valdivia was shut down because of rotator cuff tendonitis.
At the time, the Sox were planning on switching from a five-man rotation to a six-man rotation, with recent call-up Rusty Shellhorn being slotted in as the sixth starter. Also, Scott DeCecco was set to take the struggling Ambioris Hidalgo’s place in the rotation.
The injuries forced the Sox to improvise. While DeCecco took Hidalgo’s place, Hidalgo found himself starting again three days later when he was slotted into Ewing’s spot. Shellhorn, instead of being the sixth starter, ended up effectively taking Valdivia’s place.
But things are rounding back into shape. Valdivia will be out for an extended period, estimated at three weeks. But Ewing has recovered from his injury and is scheduled to return to the rotation Sunday after missing just one start.
The rotation is thus set heading forward: DeCecco started Thursday and will be followed by Shellhorn, Victor Sanchez, Ewing and Unsworth. Hidalgo returns to the bullpen as the Sox will stick with a five-man rotation.
Sanchez and Unsworth, the two youngest pitchers on the staff, are the only ones who have survived the entire season in the rotation.
Hall of Fame pitcher Rollie Fingers made a visit to Everett Memorial Stadium on Thursday.
Fingers, a relief pitcher best known for his stylized handlebar mustache, had a 18-year major-league career with the Oakland A’s, San Diego Padres and Milwaukee Brewers. When he retired in 1985, his 314 career saves were a major-league record.
Fingers threw out the first pitch, then spent time signing autographs for fans.
Fingers was a late replacement for former Seattle SuperSonics basketball star Gary Payton. Payton backed out a week ago to be a part of an event at KeyArena promoting efforts to bring an NBA team back to Seattle.