By Shannon Drayer
The Mariners have announced that they have traded Alex Liddi, who was DFA’d last week to make room for Brad Miller, to the Baltimore Orioles along with their No. 3 international signing slot for Baltimore’s No. 2 signing slot. Basically, this gives them more to spend internationally this year.
There was little question there would be interest in Liddi so it is good to see the Mariners get something for him. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, teams no longer can spend an unlimited amount on international signings without facing stiff penalties.
On to today’s game. For a second straight day the Mariners did not take batting practice as overnight and morning rain forced extra work to be done on the field before they were able to play. Not hitting on the field Friday did not seem to have a negative effect on the team, though. In fact, Aaron Harang, who pitched here for eight years, believes it might have been a good thing. Harang said that he had seen opposing teams come into the band box of a park here and get swing-happy, trying to hit home runs because it is that kind of park.
We saw the home runs yesterday, which was great, but we also saw what Eric Wedge called “the best run of the year.” In the fourth inning, Kyle Seager walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Mike Zunino hit one to the right side to get him to third, and then Michael Saunders brought him home with a sac fly. We have seen the team struggle to manufacture runs for the better part of two years now, and this was a textbook example of how to do it – right down to Saunders going after the first pitch, which most likely was the best pitch to put in the air, rather than fall behind in the count. More please.
The only negative in the game yesterday was Nick Franklin fouling a ball off his knee on a bunt attempt. It was very interesting to see how Eric Wedge handled this. Franklin obviously took a hard shot and was hobbling a bit throughout the game, but Wedge wanted to see him stay out there. It’s something players have to go through – playing hurt, but not injured. On some level it was important that his teammates see him do that as well. The knee is sore today and he still can’t quite bend it completely because of a small amount of swelling, but he should be available tomorrow.
“He’s doing fine,” Wedge said this morning. “He sucked it up yesterday, stayed in the game. I’m sure if I pushed him he wouldn’t have fought it today, but I want to be smart about it, too.”
Brad Miller is at second today and Brendan Ryan, who is 5 for 7 in his career against Mat Latos, will play short.
Brad Miller, 4
Endy Chavez, 9
Kyle Seager, 5
Kendrys Morales, 3
Michael Saunders, 7
Mike Zunino, 2
Dustin Ackley, 8
Brendan Ryan, 6
Jeremy Bonderman, 1
One last note: I asked for an update on Stephen Pryor this morning and got what could be good news. Pryor is scheduled to throw a bullpen today in Everett and will throw a sim game Wednesday at Safeco if all goes well.