Erik Bedard finally got to throw his three simulated innings today and used 45 pitches in the process, facing hitters - his teammates - for the first time in a few weeks.
Now, his comeback pace accelerates.
On Friday, Bedard will throw a light bullpen session in Safeco Field, then fly to Peoria, Ariz. and pitch there Monday in a game - throwing 45-50 pitches.
"Tentatively, Erik will make two or three starts down there," pitching coach Rick Adair said. "He won't talk about, but he's excited. I saw him smile today after pitching, and that smile told me a lot."
Is there a tentative date for Bedard's return to the Mariners rotation?
"Yes," Adair said.
Would he care to share it?
"No," Adair said.
Best guess? Mr. Bedard will put on a Mariners uniform and join the rotation before the All-Star break begins July 12.
And now, the lineup vs. lefty Jaime Garcia:
- Ichiro Suzuki, RF
- Chone Figgins, 2B
- Milton Bradley, LF
- Jose Lopez, 3B
- Josh Wilson, SS
- Ryan Langerhans, 1B
- Eliezer Alfonzo, C
- Michael Saunders, CF
- Jason Vargas, P