Retired reliever Myers may interest Mariners

  • Sunday, August 26, 2001 9:00pm
  • Sports

Opponent: Tampa Bay Devil Rays

When: 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, 9:15 a.m. Thursday

Where: Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.

TV: KIRO (Ch. 7) Tuesday, Fox Sports Net (cable) Wednesday and Thursday

Radio: KIRO (710 AM) all three games

Probable pitchers: Tuesday – Seattle right-hander Joel Pineiro (3-0, 1.86 earned run average) vs. right-hander Paul Wilson (5-8, 6.12). Wednesday – Left-hander Jamie Moyer (15-5, 3.67) vs. right-hander Tanyon Sturtze (8-10, 4.66). Thursday – Right-hander Freddy Garcia (14-5, 3.33) vs. right-hander Ryan Rupe (5-10, 7.02).

Tryout day: Proving the baseball adage that you never quit in the search for talent, the Mariners took a good look at veteran pitcher Randy Myers on Sunday morning.

Myers, feeling strong again after a shoulder injury that has kept him from pitching since 1998, threw for about 10 minutes under the critical eyes of Mariners general manager Pat Gillick, manager Lou Piniella and pitching coach Bryan Price.

“He threw all right,” Gillick said. “Better than I thought he would.”

Gillick said the Mariners are considering Myers as a spring training invitee next year, and he said there was even a “remote possibility” of adding the left-hander this season.

Myers, who lives in Vancouver, Wash., has played 14 years in the major leagues with six different teams, including the 1990-91 Reds with Piniella and the 1996-97 Orioles when Gillick was the GM there.

Myers has 347 career saves, a league-leading 53 of them in 1993 with the Cubs. He had 45 saves and a 1.51 ERA in 1997 with the Orioles.

Then, in 1998, the Padres claimed him off waivers in an effort, many have theorized, to block Atlanta from picking him up during a late-season pennant race between the Braves and Padres. Myers was hurt the following spring, had shoulder surgery and has tried to find the comeback trail ever since.

“He called this month and said he’s close to regaining his strength,” Gillick said.

The Mariners got to see for themselves on Sunday.

“Basically, what we were looking to see were what kind of mechanics he had,” Gillick said. “The more he threw, the looser he got.”

Myers politely refused to talk with reporters.

Buhner getting close: Look for the Mariners to activate outfielder Jay Buhner on Saturday, Sept. 1, the day teams are allowed to expand their rosters.

“He’ll play this week in Tacoma, then join us in Baltimore and work out with the team,” Mariners trainer Rick Griffin said. “And then Saturday is the first.”

Buhner, on the disabled list all season after he suffered an injured arch on his left foot at spring training, has played the past two weeks with the Tacoma Rainiers and Everett AquaSox and improved steadily.

While working out with the Mariners early last week, Buhner said he didn’t feel as mobile as he wanted to be in the outfield.

“He says he feels good running straight ahead and he feels good in the outfield,” Griffin said. “For the most part, he feels comfortable moving around, and he surely feels comfortable at the plate.”

Buhner hit a three-run homer Saturday night for the Rainiers, the third in his minor league rehab stint. He hit his other two in the three games with the AquaSox.

0-for-Thome: The Mariners not only kept Indians slugger Jim Thome, the American League leader with 43 home runs, in the ballpark, they didn’t give up a hit to the left-hander.

While proud of that effort, Mariners pitching coach Bryan Price wasn’t gloating about it.

“He was 2-for-his last 19 coming into this series,” Price said. “We made good pitches, but he hasn’t been swinging the bat the way he has been. We decided to be very aggressive to him and we pitched him well.”

Feeling better: Indians manager Charlie Manuel was out of the hospital and back at the ballpark Sunday, one day after he was taken to Swedish Hospital in Seattle because of abdominal pains. Manuel missed Saturday’s game, was treated for a blockage in his colon during his overnight stay at Swedish, and checked out in time to manage Sunday’s game.

Kirby Arnold

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