Pregame notes and an Eric Wedge update
By Shannon Drayer
For a second straight night Eric Wedge will not be managing the Mariners as he remains in the hospital to undergo more tests to find out why he experienced dizzy spells.
Robby Thompson will manage again and he is going with the lineup that has been responsible for the majority of the wins in the seven-game streak.
Erasmo Ramirez makes his return after being sent to Everett to get a start during the All-Star break. His first start back was hardly a success as walked four and gave up seven runs against the Red Sox. The walks are somewhat alarming as he has always been a command guy. In his final start at Triple-A before getting the call to Seattle he gave up six bases on balls. He gave up all of 12 walks total in his 16 starts at the big-league level last year.
Michael Morse played five innings in right field earlier today with the Rainiers and went 1 for 2 with a double. He was scheduled to be seen by team doctors here in Seattle this evening.
I have been getting a lot of questions about what move the Mariners will make to get him back on the roster. It’s a tough call. Jason Bay has not played a lot lately but he is a right-handed bat and the Mariners are lefty heavy. Endy Chavez is a possibility but he can play center. Dustin Ackley could be a possibility if they want him to play every day.
When Morse returns he will be playing right, which will put Saunders or Ackley in center and Ibanez in left. I can’t see Saunders being sent down as that would burn his final option and he has hit much better of late. If Ackley remains, there will not be an everyday role for him. It will be interesting to see what they do.
Follow-up to a note I had a few days ago: When we were in Houston, Roger Clemens stopped by the Mariners clubhouse and talked with Wedge and several of the players. One of those players was Hisashi Iwakuma. Iwakuma was touched to hear that Clemens remembered him from years ago when he made a trip to Japan with the MLB All-Star team that played a series against the NPB All Stars in 2004. Turns out he should remember Kuma, as Kuma won the game he started against him.
That game was the fifth in the series of eight and took place Nov. 10 at the Osaka Dome. Clemens pitched 5 2/3 innings and gave up three runs on eight hits while striking out five and walking one. Iwakuma went seven innings, surrendering just one run on two hits and one walk while striking out five. The hits he gave up were singles to Miguel Cabrera and Carl Crawford. The NPB team won the game 3-1. Small world.