The Mariners tweaked their pitching rotation with an eye toward this weekend’s crucial series at Anaheim and, unless the final two games are meaningless to the division race, they’ll likely start Aaron Sele on Saturday and Garcia on Sunday, both on three days’ rest.
Garcia struggled with his emotions and his control on Friday against Oakland, allowing five runs in the first inning of an 8-3 loss. Pitching coach Bryan Price doesn’t fear a repeat.
“Not at all,” Price said. “He completely understood what happened. But we’ll see. We’ll see tomorrow what he learned.”
Garcia will start tonight against Texas after the M’s swapped his spot with Jamie Moyer, who will start Thursday.
“Freddy could bounce back better than anybody we have in the rotation right now,” Price said.
Right-hander Paul Abbott will start Friday’s game at Anaheim.
Asked if he has thought of the various postseason scenarios that could involve the Mariners, he pursed his lips and shook his head.
“That’s for the traveling secretary to worry about,” he said. “My scenario is winning. Period. The last time I looked, there were 30 teams in baseball and 20 of them are gone.”
“There’s nothing I’d like to see than them go eight innings,” he said. “Whatever we need from the fifth inning on, we’re going to go to it for the rest of these games. We’re trying to win ballgames.”
Lampkin, throwing a baseball for the first time since he underwent elbow ligament replacement surgery in June, did little more than lob the ball to trainer Rick Griffin, who stood 40 feet away.
Afterward, he pronounced the elbow OK.
“It’s still on my body now, so I guess it didn’t go too bad,” he said. “It’s a little different than I thought it would be. Going through the throwing motion itself is a little bit easier than actually doing it when there’s a ball in your hand prying back on your arm. I thought it was going to feel a little better than that. There’s a little tightness.”
Lampkin will take tightness after what he has been through.
“I didn’t think there would ever be a time when I would be really excited to go out and play catch like I did today,” he said. “I enjoy what I do, but I can honestly say I rarely enjoy looking forward to going out and throwing a ball 40 feet.”