Mariners’ biggest worry is their weariness

Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu isn’t concerned that the Mariners will suffer an emotional letdown after going 5-4 on their Road Trip of the Century (as it was built up by some of us). Emotional letdowns are for football.

Wakamatsu is, however, a little worried about how fresh his team is after playing 12 games in 13 days and traveling 6,000 miles on the last trip going into seven straight at home before the All-Star break.

Yes, the Mariners did have a day off during that trip — last Monday — and they spent most of it sleeping after settling into their hotel in New York about 6 a.m. following the flight from Los Angeles.

Who’s showing fatigue the most? The bullpen, particularly Miguel Batista and Mark Lowe on Sunday, badly needs a couple of starters to last eight innings, if not nine, on this homestand.

And Ichiro Suzuki has gone 3-for-15 in the past three games as his average has fallen from .370 to .362. Wakamatsu said he has seen signs of fatigue from Suzuki and he hopes to play him at DH, if not give him a complete day off, before the homestand is over. Don’t forget that Suzuki won’t have the advantage of the All-Star break to lay back for three days; he’ll be in St. Louis, where representing the Mariners, the AL and Japan can be as much a mental drain as it is physical for Ichiro.

Ichiro’s DH duty, or day off, won’t be tonight. Here’s the Mariners’ lineup for the series opener against the Orioles:

Ichiro Suzuki, right field

Russell Branyan, first base

Jose Lopez, second base

Ken Griffey Jr., DH

Franklin Gutierrez, center field

Ryan Langerhans, left field

Rob Johnson, catcher

Chris Woodward, third base

Ronny Cedeno, shortstop

Jarrod Washburn, starting pitcher

Other notes from the clubhouse this afternoon:

-All systems are go for Erik Bedard to come off the disabled list (shoulder) and start Tuesday. He bounced back well from his 54-pitch simulated game Saturday and will be limited to 75-80 pitches against the Orioles. Who goes down when Bedard is activated? No decision yet, although the club won’t need a fifth starter until after the All-Star break and thinking now is that left-hander Garrett Olson will go down.

-Shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt tested his strained right hamstring with some short-burst running for trainer Rick Griffin, and he’ll take batting practice and field grounders today. If that goes well, Betancourt will begin a minor league rehab assignment and probably be activated after the All-Star break.

-DH Mike Sweeney is day-to-day with back spasms that caused him to leave Sunday’s game.

-Left fielder Endy Chavez will have surgery Thursday to repair the major ligament damage to his left knee, injured June 19 in a collision with Betancourt. Chavez will need 9-12 months to recover.

-Third baseman Adrian Beltre will be examined July 10 by Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles as he recovers from surgery to remove a bone spur from his left shoulder. If that checkup goes well, Beltre will begin therapy on an injury that may keep him out until September.

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