Aardsma to have major elbow surgery
LARRY LARUE; Staff writer
Reliever David Aardsma, who hasn’t thrown a pitch for the Mariners this season, will undergo Tommy John surgery next week to rebuild his right elbow, which will likely keep him off the mound for 10-12 months.
He underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam Thursday, and team physicians reviewed the results and recommended the surgery.
Originally slowed by December hip surgery, Aardsma’s elbow flared up when he was on a brief rehab assignment with the Tacoma Rainiers in May.
Aardsma is signed through the end of this season.
BE READY TO HIT
For anyone uncertain about just what has held the Seattle Mariners back in the American League West, manager Eric Wedge had a few candid words Friday.
“There a lot of good things going on here,” Wedge said. “Hitting isn’t one of them.”
Speaking of a team that continues to be the worst in the majors at scoring runs and getting hits, Wedge insisted it wasn’t a lack of effort. But he suggested his players all take stock of who they are and what they’re doing.
“It’s hard to see the same thing over and over. We will figure this out. We will find out who will sink and who can swim,” Wedge said. “We’ll push them, we’ll help them all we can. In the end, it’s the player at the plate who has to do it. We have to make changes. Little adjustments won’t get the job done.”
Wedge did not drop a name, but he wasn’t in the mood to let the matter slide. Not with players such as Franklin Gutierrez (.184), Carlos Peguero (.199), Chone Figgins (.185) and Ichiro Suzuki (.267) slumping.
“Each individual has to look at himself and determine whether he’s not doing it or he can’t do it,” Wedge said. “The key is simple: Be ready to hit, and when you get your pitch, don’t miss it.”
Reliever Shawn Kelley’s comeback from last year’s elbow surgery continues, and the pace is picking up.
“I threw my first bullpen (session) from the rubber (Thursday), 27 fastballs, and feel great today,” Kelley said. “On Sunday I’ll throw a full bullpen – I’ll throw sliders and change-ups along with fastballs.”
“I’ll probably throw another full bullpen, then a simulated game, maybe in Boston on the next trip,” Kelley said. “If I feel good after that, I’ll probably go out on a rehab assignment.”
Best-case scenario, Kelley could rejoin the Seattle bullpen in mid-August, adding another power arm.
The Mariners celebrate the 10-year anniversary of their remarkable 2001 season tonight, and they’ve reached out to most of the men who built, managed or played for that 116-win team.
Before the game, Pat Gillick, Lou Piniella, Edgar Martinez, John Olerud, Bret Boone and others will be on the field for a ceremony, and Piniella will speak. Gillick will throw out the first pitch.
During the six-game losing streak the Mariners took into Friday night, the team had been out-homered, 11-0. ... Ichiro is having, to this point, the worst offensive season of his 10-plus-year career. Still, a little perspective is needed. Ichiro got to the All-Star break with 101 hits and is currently ninth in the AL.
Seattle hosts Texas in a 7:10 p.m. game that will be televised on Root Sports. Probable starting pitchers: Texas’ C.J. Wilson (9-3, 3.20 ERA) vs. Felix Hernandez (8-7, 3.19).