BALTIMORE – Three days after being hit by a pitch on his left elbow, Seattle shortstop Brendan Ryan still couldn’t play the field Tuesday.
“They’re doing everything they can for him, but he’s just not ready to play,” manager Eric Wedge said. “There’s a lot of inflammation, there’s range of motion issues. Brendan just can’t go yet.
“We could use him as a pinch runner late, but I’d rather not – you want to avoid any possibility that might slow his progress down.”
It’s a considerable loss for the Mariners. Ryan leads all shortstops in fielding percentage and was the American League’s defensive player of the month in May.
Over his past 40 games, Ryan batted .278, and he’s already established a career high in walks (36) through 97 games.
Trainers aren’t certain when Ryan will be available to play the field and hit.
The pitch, which hit him directly on the point of the elbow, came after the Mariners had hit five New York batters over four games – three by Felix Hernandez.
Ryan said he believed he was hit intentionally. In his absence, Munenori Kawasaki has played shortstop, and Chone Figgins would play if Kawasaki could not.
Left-hander Charlie Furbush (strained triceps) made his second appearance on a rehabilitation assignment with Tacoma on Monday, and both he and the Mariners agreed he’ll need at least one more.
“It’s a matter of velocity, command and feel,” Wedge said. “He thinks he needs at least one more, too, which tells you something. It’s the first go round with something like this for him.”
Furbush was acquired with Casper Wells and Chance Ruffin in the trade that sent Doug Fister to Detroit in July 2011. In relief this season, Furbush is 4-2 with a 2.17 earned-run average in 34 games, and he’s held opposing hitters to a .147 batting average.
Closer Tom Wilhelmsen will accompany the team to Anaheim after the game tonight, then fly to Seattle early Thursday to be with his pregnant wife, Cassie, on the Mariners’ off day. He’s hoping they can induce delivery and get him back for the Friday start of the Angels series. … The complete game by Jason Vargas on Monday was the sixth of the season by a Mariner, tied for the second-most in the AL. … Seattle has outscored its opposition since July 2, 119-94, but for the season trails in run differential, 435 runs scored to 440 runs allowed. A year ago, through the same number of games, the Mariners scored 368 runs. … Ex-Mariner Adam Jones is having a marvelous year in Baltimore and is one home run shy of his career high (25). Of his 24 home runs, 13 have put the Orioles ahead, and three others have tied the game.
Seattle plays the Orioles at Baltimore in a 4:05 p.m. (PDT) game that will be televised on Root Sports. Probable starting pitchers: Seattle’s Kevin Millwood (4-9, 4.01 ERA) vs. Tommy Hunter (4-7, 5.55).email@example.com blog.thenewstribune.com/mariners @LarryLaRue