Mariners cant sneak pitcher into town
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Officially, the Seattle Mariners starting pitcher for tonight’s game hasn’t been announced, though one major clue came when right-hander Blake Beavan – who last pitched with Tacoma – flew to Kansas City on Monday on the same plane as a reporter who covers the Mariners.
The Mariners are short one starter. Erasmo Ramirez has a strained right elbow, and he’ll miss at least one and probably two more starts. And Seattle sent down Hector Noesi, giving right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma his spot.
Tonight? It’ll be Beavan, the 23-year-old right-hander who went 3-6 with a 5.92 earned-run average in 12 starts with Seattle this season.
With the Rainiers, Beavan was 4-0 in six starts, forging a 2.61 ERA in the Pacific Coast League.
As for Ramirez, he’s thrown one bullpen session, will throw one or two more and then, manager Eric Wedge said, begin a one-or-two-start rehabilitation assignment.
To the delight of teammates, Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan did a live interview with the Intentional Talk crew on the MLB Network on Monday.
Ryan drew laughs in the clubhouse with several of his answers, but said later he felt his appearance was a bit flat and needed “a big close.”
He had one.
Asked to do impressions of actors Robert DeNiro and Christopher Walken, Ryan obliged. When he was asked to do Jack Nicholson, Ryan changed up and said he’d rather do late Cubs announcer Harry Caray.
Then, saying he hoped the story was “appropriate,” Ryan did his Caray impression by talking about a couple in the stands smooching all game.
The punch line was a double entendre.
Appropriate or not, the story killed Mariners players.
HITTING RIGHT AWAY
Facing the first of three left-handed starters Monday, Wedge managed to get five right-handed hitters in his lineup.
“It’s going to be a challenge, because we’re left-handed heavy offensively,” Wedge said. “We need some of these right-handed hitters to step up and produce, take some pressure off our left-handed hitters.”
In the first inning, right-handed hitter Casper Wells hit a three-run home run, Jesus Montero singled and then Justin Smoak – batting right-handed – homered for a 5-0 lead.
Franklin Gutierrez is traveling with the team and worked out and hit in a covered batting cage. Today, the Mariners will let Gutierrez shag fly balls and take batting practice. If he responds well, the center fielder could begin a rehabilitation assignment by Friday. … Facing three consecutive left-handed starting pitchers from the Royals, Wedge started right-handed hitters Montero at catcher and Miguel Olivo as the designated hitter. Today, expect John Jaso to fill one of those spots. … Add Olivo: His 16 runners caught attempting to steal this season leads the American League. … How many leadoff hitters does it take to play 91 Mariners games? Six. Ichiro, Dustin Ackley, Chone Figgins, Jaso, Michael Saunders and Ryan. Last season, they used two – Ichiro and Figgins.
Seattle plays at Kansas City in a 5:10 p.m. (PDT) game that will be televised on Root Sports. Beavan (3-6, 5.92 ERA) will start for Seattle. The Royals will announce their starter today.