Clint Nageotte will get the first start of his career tonight against the Astros, and Mariners manager Bob Melvin knows what to expect.
“I expect for him to throw the ball over the plate and take his chances,” Melvin said. “He has a good fastball with movement, a plus slider and has been working on a curveball. For me, if he throws the ball over the plate, he will have success.”
Nageotte, called up from Class AAA Tacoma on May 28, made his major league debut last Tuesday in relief of Gil Meche, allowing four hits, four walks and four runs in four innings.
Melvin believes that outing, unspectacular as it was, will help calm Nageotte’s nerves today.
“Having one outing under his belt helps him,” Melvin said. “It’s good that he got his feet wet, and now he’s back into his regular routine as a starter. He’s going to be very excited out there, but at the same time all business.”
Grab a bat: Mariners pitchers have been bunting in the underground cages much of the past week, preparing for interleague road games later this month.
“The one thing you have to worry about is using muscles you don’t usually use so that’s why you kind of have to ease your way into it,” Melvin said.
The Mariners play at Milwaukee June 15-17 and at Pittsburgh June 18-20.
Feeling better: Raul Ibanez remains about a month from returning because of a strained right hamstring, but he walked without a limp Sunday.
“It’s feeling much, much better now,” he said. “From the other day, I feel 75 percent better.”
Ibanez went on the 15-day disabled list after injuring himself while running to first base Thursday.
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