They returned from three full days off, and the news was the Seattle Mariners made no news – no trades, no one sent down, no new faces before they open the second half today against Texas in Seattle.
The closest manager Eric Wedge could come to breaking news were updates on injured players and one new pitcher headed for Tacoma.
David Pauley, a right-handed reliever included last July when Seattle traded Doug Fister to Detroit for four players, has re-signed with the Mariners and will join the Rainiers today.
“David loved it here, and he’s a multipurpose pitcher – he can work long relief, short relief, he can start games if you need him,” Wedge said. “He’s bounced around a bit this year and we just want him to get settled in.”
Bringing Pauley back in essence means the Mariners acquired left-hander Charlie Furbush, outfielder Casper Wells, minor league infielder Francisco Martinez and Tacoma reliever Chance Ruffin for Fister, who’s been plagued with injuries this season. He has a 2-6 record with a 4.45 earned-run average for Detroit.
In other news, the Mariners issued player-health updates:
• Center fielder Franklin Gutierrez (concussion) may be cleared today to resume physical activity – though not necessarily baseball activities.
Out since June 29, Gutierrez will need a rehabilitation minor league assignment before returning to the Mariners.
• Mike Carp (shoulder inflammation) has played catch but hadn’t played in the field until Thursday, when he started at first base for the Rainiers.
“We want him to be ready to do more than DH when he comes back, but he won’t play the outfield,” Wedge said. “We want him to get some work in at first base.”
• Stephen Pryor (groin strain), a right-handed reliever who touched 100 mph in his big league debut, has been pulled from Class A High Desert and rejoined Tacoma.
• Erasmo Ramirez (elbow strain) has been playing long toss for four days and will try throwing a bullpen session in the next few days. He will miss his first start of the second half, but Wedge is optimistic he’ll be ready the next time through the rotation.
Justin Smoak spent his All-Star break avoiding newspapers and radio, but he had a pretty good idea what might have been said about him.
“When you don’t win, people want change,” Smoak said. “I don’t look, listen or read anything. I don’t need to know what’s out there.
“If I were a fan, I’d probably be saying the same thing. Everybody wants to win.”
Seattle’s rotation to open the second half will be Kevin Millwood, Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, Jason Vargas and “to be determined” – which could mean the return of right-hander Blake Beavan from Tacoma. … A week after essentially saying jobs were on the line, Wedge said Thursday his players needed to “relax.” He said there was a reason every player was with the team, and that he and general manager Jack Zduriencik had seen “indicators” that hitters were coming around. “Sometimes it’s just one swing, an at-bat, a game,” Wedge said. “You see it and think ‘That’s it! That’s what we need to see.’ ”
The Mariners play host to the Texas Rangers in a 7:10 p.m. game today that will be televised on Root Sports. Probable starting pitchers: Derek Holland (5-4, 5.05 ERA) vs. Kevin Millwood (3-6, 3.68).email@example.com blog.thenewstribune.com/mariners @LarryLaRue