By Larry LaRue The News Tribune
With the Tacoma Rainiers season over, the Seattle Mariners will be bringing players to the big leagues today — some of them returning to duty, others being rewarded for fine seasons.
With outfielder Carlos Peguero and pitcher Erasmo Ramirez already with the Mariners, who else can fans expect to see in September?
First baseman/designated hitter Mike Carp and outfielder Casper Wells will return, along with right-handed reliever Shawn Kelley, who pitched Monday for the first time since taking a line drive off the elbow last week.
They’ll likely bring back Alex Liddi, and could bring up left-hander Danny Hultzen, though he wouldn’t pitch. There are other possibilities, from reliever Chance Ruffin to infielder Francisco Martinez.
It all depends upon whether the Mariners want some of their young players here sitting and watching or feel they’d be better served beginning their off-seasons.
Once here, there are more decisions to be made. With a rotation of Felix Hernandez, Jason Vargas, Hisashi Iwakuma and Blake Beavan, it would seem more practical to take a look at Ramirez again instead of giving another four starts to veteran Kevin Millwood.
Will they do so?
Manager Eric Wedge has been fiercely loyal to Millwood, who has pitched better than his 4-12 record, but he’s clearly not in Seattle’s future plans.
Ramirez could be — and if he’s not, showcasing him in September might help his trade value in a winter package of talent.
Whatever the Mariners decide, they likely won’t curtail the at-bats of Kyle Seager, Dustin Ackley, Jesus Montero and Trayvon Robinson more than they have already.
They might use Carp at first base to spell Justin Smoak (.192), could bring up Carlos Triunfel to play a little shortstop for Brendan Ryan (.195).
“You’ll just have to wait and see,” Wedge said Monday.
It could be worse
If you’re disappointed with the Seattle Mariners record, think how Boston ownership feels about the Red Sox 62-74 record — and always controversial manager Bobby Valentine.
Owner John Henry flew to Seattle for this series, and though he said Valentine was here for the rest of 2012, it sounded a bit like he couldn’t wait for the season to end so the Sox could rid themselves of him.
If that happens, Valentine would follow the footsteps of Terry Francona, who was fired last year.
The loss Monday was Boston’s seventh in a row.
Outfielder Michael Saunders worked out on the field Monday, his third day since coming out of a game with a strained groin muscle. It’s been about 10 days since the initial injury, and he remains day-to-day — though realistically, it will be mid-week at best before he plays again. … One of the keys for Jason Vargas Monday was control. For the fourth time this season he did not walk a batter. … Catcher/designated hitter John Jaso is batting .280 since the All-Star break, with five home runs and 22 RBI.
Seattle hosts Boston in a 7:10 p.m. game that will be televised on ROOT. Probable starting pitchers: Jon Lester (8-11, 5.01) vs. Blake Beavan (9-8, 4.95).