M’s notes

  • Sunday, August 14, 2005 9:00pm
  • Sports

Opponent: Kansas City Royals

When: 7:05 p.m. today and Tuesday, 1:35 p.m. Wednesday.

Where: Safeco Field

TV: Fox Sports Net today and Tuesday, no TV on Wednesday.

Radio: KOMO (1000 AM) all three games.

Pitchers: Today – Seattle right-hander Felix Hernandez (1-1, 0.69 earned run average) vs. right-hander Runelvys Hernandez (8-10, 4.93).

Looking forward

Pitcher Bobby Madritsch and outfielder Chris Snelling, two injured Mariners who won’t play again until next season, have set a common goal.

“We made a pact that we’re going to work together over the winter and we’re both going to win the Comeback Player of the Year award,” Madritsch said.

Right now, they’re both in the early stages of those comebacks.

Madritsch, out since early April because of a strained left shoulder, is throwing off flat ground and hopes to pitch this fall in the Arizona instructional league. Snelling will have arthroscopic surgery in 2-3 weeks to repair what the Mariners believe is a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Madritsch said his arm and shoulder felt good Sunday after he’d thrown back-to-back days Friday and Saturday for the first time. The only soreness he feels is in the front of the shoulder, and the team medical staff told him that’s expected after the long layoff.

Another decoration: Madritsch, who has 27 tattoos on all parts of his body, couldn’t let the Seattle Tattoo Convention go by without spending some time there.

He planned to do that after Sunday’s game, not only viewing some body art but getting a tattoo himself.

“There’s still some room in the back,” Madritsch said.

Harris down, Strong coming: Right-handed pitcher Jeff Harris, impressive in three appearances since being called up April 2, was optioned back to Class Triple-A Tacoma on Sunday.

The Mariners made the move in order to beef up their bench, although no other player arrived in return. That’s expected today when outfielder Jamal Strong is expected to be called up from Tacoma. Strong, who was with the Mariners early this month before being sent back to Tacoma, had to play there for 10 days before he was eligible to be called up again, and that period expired Sunday.

Harris, meanwhile, goes down after convincing the Mariners he can pitch in the majors. He went 0-1 with a 2.51 ERA.

“If the least they accomplish is that they make a good impression and show that they can be here, that’s good,” M’s manager Mike Hargrove said. “That’s what he has done. He has pitched well, he’s thrown strikes and he’s given us chances to win ballgames. He’s done nothing but real good things for himself and how we feel about him.”

The problems is that the Mariners badly needed a deeper bench, which was down to three players in the three games of the Angels series because of Snelling’s injury.

Of note: Rafael Soriano, who pitched two innings Saturday for the Everett AquaSox, will join the Class Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers as he continues his minor league rehab. Soriano had elbow surgery last August and was progressing well until a sore shoulder set him back last month. … Hargrove said shortstop Mike Morse, who lost his job when the Mariners called up slick-fielding Yuniesky Betancourt, would not go back to the minors to get at-bats. Morse is second among American League rookies with a .300 average but hasn’t gotten an at-bat since last Monday. … The Safeco Field fire alarm sounded before Sunday’s game because of an overflow of water in a concession stand, and it went off twice early in the game as the system was being re-set.

Kirby Arnold, Herald writer

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