Catchers pitching, Junior and a move coming

Jul 21, 2012, 6:48 PM | Updated: Jul 22, 2012, 7:31 pm

By Shannon Drayer

Good thing this place has a roof, big storm brewing outside. Inside? Not so much. The Mariners got a bit of first-inning offense and nothing since.

Lots of pregame news so I will get right to it.

Everyone made a beeline for Miguel Olivo this afternoon when the clubhouse opened, all wanting to know what his plan would be if he got to take the hill Friday night.

It was quite the sight to see, Olivo jumping out of the dugout in the 14th inning then trotting down to the bullpen to start warming up. Of the jump he told me he was trying to do the hop that Felix Hernandez does when he heads out to warm up. This drew a laugh from Felix, who was a little miffed that he didn’t get to pitch.

“Hey, I tell them. I got one more inning!” Felix said, referring to going just eight innings in Kansas City. “You going to go with the catcher? Okay. I see how you are.”

Nonetheless, Felix helped out his catcher by showing him how to warm up from the dugout.

“I told him not to do too much,” said Felix. “You don’t want to see him get hurt out there.

As for Olivo, after the initial run to the bullpen it was all business.

“I was very serious,” he exclaimed. “No matter what, even if you are not a pitcher, if you let a home run go out and you lose a game, if you care, then you will feel bad. I don’t want to get beat if I go to the mound.”

As for his strategy? All fastballs, but hard.

“I think I can throw at least 90,” he said. “I got a drill in my mind. First pitch I throw I am going to throw right to the stands and everyone will be terrified. Then I throw it right down the middle, hard.”

That would not have been a comfortable at-bat. Oh, what could have been.

Moving on.

Ken Griffey Jr. stopped by before the game. He hopped into his plane and flew to Tampa from nearby Orlando with his youngest son, Tevin, to check in. Several of the younger Mariners approached him for a bit of conversation and to get autographs.

“He is the main reason I was a Mariners fan growing up,” said Lucas Luetge. “I have to get him to sign a ball, don’t I?”

Junior is doing well, spending some time traveling to the minor league affiliates to talk with the kids and even more time following his own kids’ athletic pursuits. His oldest son, Trey, will play football at the University of Arizona this fall. His daughter, Taryn, a junior in high school, is a highly sought after basketball recruit. As for Tevin, Griffey is the assistant head coach of his football team.

On the mend, or not. Erasmo Ramirez threw a simulated game today and all went well. He threw 36 pitches to hitters on the field and then another 15 in the pen. He said after that the biggest challenge for him has been to tell himself that everything was okay with his arm and just throw. All and all he was pleased with the throwing session. He is now scheduled to throw a bullpen Monday and then could make a rehab start Wednesday for the Rainiers.

No word on when Franklin Gutierrez will be sent out on his rehab assignment. As I told you earlier this week Gutierrez has been suffering from headaches recently and the decision was made to shut him down until he can be seen by the specialist again in Seattle.

“It’s unfortunate but we were told there could be some back and forth with this, it is just that type of injury,” Eric Wedge said. “Some days are better than others but the fact that he still has the reoccurring headaches, we are going shut him down today and tomorrow and let the doc look at him Monday.”

Move made and move coming. Stephen Pryor was activated from his rehab assignment and optioned back to AAA. Mike Carp has just two days remaining that he could stay on his rehab assignment (20 day max). After that he must come back to Seattle or be DFA’d as he is out of options, so we will see at least one move early next week. Carlos Peguero was last up but I would not be surprised if we saw Justin Smoak optioned to Tacoma as his struggles continue.

Lastly, there is plenty of good stuff coming up at Safeco Field this week. The Yankees are in town Monday through Wednesday and on Tuesday Felix Hernandez will square off against his childhood idol, Freddy Garcia. Felix against the Yankees is always fun to watch but taking into consideration that it is against Freddy (for the first time) and the fact that Felix threw only 89 pitches in his last start, this one has the potential to be special.

On Friday 710 ESPN Seattle is hosting its second Rock Meets Jock Session, which will feature Kevin Calabro hosting Randy Johnson and Duff McKagan for one hour in The Pen at Safeco Field. Tickets to the event, which include a view level seat to that night’s game against the Royals, are just $11 and purchase information can be found here.

On Saturday there will be pregame ceremonies honoring Randy Johnson and Dan Wilson, who will enter the Mariners Hall of Fame. The first 20,000 fans will receive a dual bobblehead of the two.

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Catchers pitching, Junior and a move coming