ANAHEIM, Calif. – The knee injury few people realized he had will keep Seattle Mariners pitcher Erik Bedard out longer than anyone expected.
After straining his left knee during his June 28 start, the veteran left-hander was initially scheduled to return to the rotation immediately after the All-Star break. That’s no longer the plan.
Manager Eric Wedge said his veteran will miss at least one post All-Star start and that he was just beginning to play catch again.
“We’ll get him throwing on flat ground a few more times, give him a couple of bullpens and he’ll be ready,” Wedge said. “Blake (Beavan) will get that next start in Erik’s spot.”
The injury to Bedard has not been diagnosed as serious, but the Mariners have been cautious, in part, because they don’t want it to become so. While there’s been speculation Bedard would be on the trading block as the July 31 deadline approached, the Mariners want him healthy to pitch.
Whether a trade develops, the one thing Seattle can control is getting Bedard healthy enough to pitch for them again. Over 15 starts this season, Bedard is 4-6 with a 3.00 earned-run average In his two starts, Beavan is 1-0 with a 2.03 ERA.
“One thing Beavan knows now, he’s seen he can be a success at this level,” Wedge said. “His second start, he used his secondary stuff more – his slider, his curve – but still controlled his fastball well.”
Center fielder Franklin Gutierrez was in the original lineup Saturday but had to be scratched when he came to the ballpark feeling ill. The Mariners say they don’t think it’s a result of his irritable bowel syndrome, and that Gutierrez is day-to-day. ... Ichiro Suzuki’s two hits pushed his season total to 101 – the 11th time in his 11 seasons he has at least 100 hits before the All-Star break. It’s the second-longest streak in baseball since 1954. Pete Rose did it in his first 12 seasons. ... Add Beavan: By allowing two runs or less and pitching six innings or more in each of his first two big-league starts, the right-hander became the first Mariner to do so since Dave Burba in 1991. Longest stretch in franchise history: three, by Bob Stoddard in 1981. ...While Felix Hernandez and Brandon League have been selected to the 2011 All-Star Game, Felix may not go – and his spot on the AL roster could go to rookie teammate Michael Pineda. The league doesn’t want starters for the Tuesday game who pitch today – and Felix does. ... Carlos Peguero snapped an 0-for-11 stretch with a third-inning single.
Seattle gets to the All-Star break with a 12:35 p.m. game in Anaheim on Root Sports. Probable starting pitchers: Hernandez (8-7, 3.22 ERA) vs. Dan Haren (8-5, 2.65).