Tuesday news and notes
By Shannon Drayer
The lineup is back to normal with Ichiro back in the leadoff spot. Eric Wedge again said today that he will be given time to “find it” in the leadoff spot. How much time remains to be seen.
With the exception of 2009 when he started the season on the DL, Ichiro has never had more than five off days in a season. Since 2004 he has not had more than one day off in a year. This year he has had two already and Wedge said that there could be more. I asked him if he took a good look at him after an off day to see where he was mentally and physically.
“I do,” he answered. “And not just that day, the days following. And I think it is a good thing for him to have a day off every now and then. I think it will help him.”
Of course the Ichiro story tonight is whether we see him reach hit No. 2,500. Stay tuned.
Nice debut. Wedge liked what he saw from Oliver Perez in his Mariners debut.
“I was really impressed,” he said. “I thought he looked comfortable out there, I thought he was really tough on the left-handers, he handled the right-handers pretty well. Good stuff, good arm, good velocity. It was a real good first outing for him.”
How he is used going forward remains to be seen. Wedge said that bullpen roles were still not firmly established but he does like to go with matchups and having three lefties is not a bad thing in that regard.
More Wells? Casper Wells is off to a good re-start. The work he did in Tacoma appears to have paid off and he could be rewarded with more playing time, which means others could be losing some playing time. Wedge said that he would like to get him out there more and that he would like to see him against righties more. Tough to do while the Mariners are in the National League stadiums and do not have the DH but we will see what happens when they get home.
Speaking of which, the schedule finally gets friendlier with the team in a stretch of 34 consecutive games that will all start on their “home” time as all games will be played in Pacific time.
Lastly, you won’t see Jesus Montero catch tomorrow but you could see him catch three days in a row sometime soon. Wedge said it was something he felt he could handle and that he also would like to get his bat into the order more. Montero is hitting .294/.342/.451/.793 in his last 26 games.