Mariners notes: Juggling the Wilsons

  • Sun Jun 20th, 2010 11:10pm
  • Sports

By Kirby Arnold Herald Writer

Next Series

Opponent: Chicago Cubs

When: 7:10 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 12:40 p.m. Thursday.

Where: Safeco Field

TV: FSN, all three games.

Radio: ESPN 710 AM, all three games

Pitchers: Tuesday _ Seattle left-hander Jason Vargas (5-2, 2.88 earned run average) vs. right-hander Ryan Dempster (5-5, 3.67). Wednesday _ Left-hander Cliff Lee (5-3, 3.55) vs. right-hander Randy Wells (3-5, 4.92). Thursday _ Right-hander Felix Hernandez (5-5, 3.39) vs. right-hander Carlos Silva (8-2, 3.01).

Juggling Wilsons

Amid a flurry of roster moves and minor league rehab stints Sunday, the Mariners went back to life with two Wilsons on their roster. They activated shortstop Jack Wilson from the disabled list, where he’d been since May 6 because of a strained right hamstring.

While the Mariners got back their opening-day shortstop in Jack Wilson, they also faced the dilemma of how to keep his replacement the past six weeks, Josh Wilson, as effective as he’s been.

Josh Wilson had started most of the games at shortstop and delivered not only quality defense, but a much-needed dose of hitting with a .289 average.

Manager Don Wakamatsu said Jack Wilson would get plenty of playing time, but he also said Josh Wilson would be much more than a bench player.

“It’s a tough decision, but what we’ll look at are the matchups and how (Jack Wilson’s) legs respond to playing,” Wakamatsu said. “But we plan on getting him in there.”

Because Josh Wilson can play all four infield positions, Wakamatsu hopes to rotate him into the lineup to give regulars days off, but he also likes the versatility he brings off the bench.

“He gives us some versatility,” Wakamatsu said. “We’re going to look at every game and try to put the best team on the field. We’ll make that decision (based) on the matchups.”

To make roster room for Jack Wilson, the Mariners optioned backup infielder Matt Tuiasosopo to Class AAA Tacoma. Tuiasosopo, who batted .167 in 24 games, will play third base and left field for the Rainiers, Wakamatsu said.

“For me, it’s just (a matter of) getting him consistent at-bats, and it’s tough to do up here,” Wakamatsu said.

Bullpen wedding bells

Less than an hour after serving as the Mariners’ bullpen catcher, Jason Phillips was back in the pen to perform a more important duty Sunday — saying “I do.”

With several Mariners on the guest list, Phillips married Molly Ray in a ceremony held in the bullpen at Safeco Field.

The two met last year at a game when Phillips spotted her in the crowd near the bullpen. He tossed her a baseball with his phone number, and it became a case of love at first lob.

Mariners reliever Brandon League said it was the first wedding he’s attended in a bullpen.

“At least it won’t be a strange surrounding,” League said.

Short hops

Pitcher Ian Snell, designated for assignment Tuesday, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Tacoma on Sunday. … Right-handed pitcher Doug Fister, coming back from shoulder fatigue, gave up four hits and two earned runs in a rehab start Sunday for the Class AAA Tacoma Rainiers. He threw 48 pitches, 33 for strikes. Fister will start either Friday or Saturday at Milwaukee, Wakamatsu said. … Erik Bedard, recovering from shoulder surgery last August, will throw 40-50 pitches today in a rehab start with the Mariners’ rookie-level team in Peoria, Ariz. Barring setback, he’ll pitch again for Peoria on Saturday. … Wakamatsu when told that Felix Hernandez joked he wouldn’t allow the skipper to pull him in the ninth inning Saturday: “I haven’t told him this, but that probably was his last hitter.”

Kirby Arnold, Herald Writer