By Shannon Drayer
Just wanted to give you a heads up, I will be out until Monday. My brother is getting married and as luck would have it he decided to do it in Hawaii, so away I go. Believe it or not, this is the first road series I have taken off since I got this job 10 years ago. A new streak will start Monday in Houston.
While I am away Brady Henderson and the fine 710Sports.com staff will keep you up to date on Mariners news, Matt Pitman will take over video and insider report duties and Gary Hill will provide excellent pre- and post-game reporting. You should not hear from me but you never know.
Michael Morse is back after missing three games with a broken pinky.
Before I go I wanted to share a thought and a note. Obviously we are disappointed with the start the offense has had. A week ago, when the starting pitching was rough and the bullpen questionable, I asked Eric Wedge what was most fixable at that point in time. He answered everything because that is his goal. Fix everything.
It turned out that the most fixable element of the Mariners at that time was the starting pitching. Jack Zduriencik went out, made a move and added a starter. Brandon Maurer shook off some of his rookiness and Joe Saunders settled in to Safeco Field.
Now the team is dealing with a bullpen that has three new members in it. Losing Stephen Pryor was a blow. It would be helpful if Blake Beavan could make the transition fairly quickly and be able to give the Mariners six outs every three to four days. Bobby LaFromboise has looked promising. Yoervis Medina may be able to help in limited innings.
This is a significant overhaul and it is tough for this group to meet expectations that were put on those they are replacing. There is a reason those players broke camp with the Mariners and the others didn’t. Still, given a chance to settle in a bit, this element could be somewhat fixable. And if not, perhaps Zduriencik can go out once again and get some help.
As for reinforcements on the offensive side of things, it was great to see Michael Morse get himself back out on the playing field. He asked if any further damage could be done to his pinky if he played and was told no. At that point it was a matter of dealing with discomfort, which he was prepared to do.
Michael Saunders is still a little ways off. He is not yet able to do any baseball activity but he is able to do range of motion and the Mariners are encouraged to the point of deciding to take him on the upcoming roadtrip. Always a good sign.
That is it for now, the plane is boarding. Have a good week and Aloha!