When asked Thursday in San Diego about who his Sunday starter would be in Minnesota, Mariners manager Eric Wedge told the assembled media, “It’s easy to figure out, just do the math.”
Clearly, Wedge was overestimating the mathematical ability of his local reporters.
But a quick check on a few facts — five days of rest, a June 1 opt-out date in his contract if he wasn’t on the big league roster by then and a scheduled Sunday start for the Tacoma Rainiers — made it clear Wedge was talking about veteran Jeremy Bonderman.
On Friday, Wedge made it official saying the Pasco native would take Brandon Maurer’s spot in Seattle’s rotation.
“He’s been pretty consistent,” Wedge said. “It was a progression of what we saw this spring. He’s putting the ball on the ground. He’s been aggressive. His arm has been pretty strong and he’s using all of his pitches.
“He obviously has a great deal of experience. He’s worked hard to get here.”
Bonderman was 2-4 with a 4.52 ERA in Tacoma in 11 starts. In 63† innings, he struck out 33 and walked 18. His overall numbers were submarined by a couple of bad starts, including his last one at home in which he gave up eight runs on 11 hits in five innings.
Wedge isn’t expecting Felix Hernandez-type production from Bonderman, just some consistency out of the No. 5 spot. The talented Maurer could never find that in 10 starts, lasting less than six innings in five of them.
“He’ll give us a chance to win the ballgame,” Wedge said. “He’s been here and done it before.”
Bonderman pitched eight seasons for the Detroit Tigers, posting a 67-77 record. He has started 193 big league games in his career.
The Mariners will have to make room on the 40-man and 25-man rosters for Bonderman. It seems likely that infielder Alex Liddi, who was called up three days ago when Maurer was sent down to Tacoma, could rejoin the Rainiers. As for the 40-man roster move, the Mariners will have to designate a player for assignment. Infielder Vinnie Catricala, who is with Double-A Jackson, is a possibility.
MORSE FLIES TO MEET TEAM IN MINNESOTA
Michael Morse was in the visitors’ clubhouse at Target Field and in good spirits after spending the past two days in Seattle getting treatment for a strained quadriceps.
Morse took batting practice with the team and participated in a few other activities. However, running is still an issue.
“I can hit, I can do everything,” he said. “I think the one thing I feel maybe is running. It’s just sore. It’s a little tight, but it’s not a pulled feeling anymore. If it was up to me, I’d give it one or two days more days and I’ll be fine.”
Morse couldn’t believe he suffered the injury, but is happy it wasn’t worse.
“To me, it’s such a fluke thing,” he said. “I felt so good. I’ve been taking good care of my legs, and I feel great in the outfield. I felt really good running, and especially right there I felt great. I just tried to push it a little too much. I compare it to driving a car and red-lining a car. You just don’t do that. I tried to run a little faster. But I’m not fast, so I don’t know what I was doing.”
ANDINO CLEARS WAIVERS, HEADED TO RAINIERS
Infielder Robert Andino has cleared waivers and accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A Tacoma. He will report to the Rainiers for Saturday’s game against the Sacramento River Cats at Cheney Stadium. Andino was hoping to hook on with his old team, the Orioles, or any other big league team. However no team was interested in putting him on its 25-man roster.
The Rainiers infield will be crowded with Brad Miller just called up to play shortstop and the recently demoted Dustin Ackley playing second base. Andino hit just .184 (14-for-76) in 27 games with 27 strikeouts and just seven walks.
Right-hander Aaron Harang (2-5, 6.51 ERA) will get the start for the Mariners against Twins right-hander Kevin Correia (5-4, 3.96) in a 10:10 a.m. game that will be broadcast on Root Sports, 1030-AM and 710-AM.