Pretty uneventful pregame today for the Mariners. Perhaps the biggest news was that reliever Shawn Kelley threw a simulated game before batting practice. Kelley, who is recovering from elbow surgery, threw 21 pitches and looked pretty solid.
"I felt good," he said. "I still have to continue to get my arm strength. But I was basically looking at throwing all my pitches and not having any pain and having some decent command. I achieved all of that I felt like, so it was a good day."
Of the 21 pitches, Kelley estimated he threw 12 to 14 fastballs with the rest split up between sliders and changeups.
"Hopefully it's what I’m trying to do in games," he said. "Sometimes in games I end up throwing a lot of sliders. But it was a good ratio. That’s how I like to throw a 20 pitch outing."
Obviously being on the mound at Safeco and facing hitters that are swinging pushed his adrenaline higher. Kelley noticed the difference.
"I think so because after I got done I was a little more fatigued than I was after the bullpens," he said. "Once a hitter gets in there, there’s a little bit more of something on the the line and a little bit higher level of energy exerted. It was good because you can only get so much out of throwing bullpens."
So what's the plan? Well, if Kelley feels good tomorrow, he will throw a bullpen before Sunday's game. And if all goes well, he could head out on a rehab stint. But after hearing about the weather David Aardsma was pitching in with the Rainiers, Kelley is hoping to go to Double A Jackson. He lives in Chattanooga so it would be somewhat close to home for him.
Speaking of Aardsma, he was in the clubhouse after finishing up treatment. He wasn't overly concerned too much about the stiffness in his forearm. It first started after his second rehab outing with Tacoma.
"It was just coming on a little bit," he said. "It’s one of those things that crept up a little bit. I wasn’t too bad and then it got a little tighter and tighter."
Aardsma believes the Mariners are trying to be proactive with the injury.
"We’re being real cautious with it and it’s getting better every day," he said. "Just take a little time and don’t let it become something bigger."
It's something he's dealt with before in his career. And it was never an issue to where he had to be placed on the disabled list.
"In the past I have," he said. "?It was the same thing, just give it a little time and it went away."
Aardsma admitted that the latest setback bothers him. He wants to get back to pitching.
"Absolutely you’re frustrated, but you understand that these are things that happen to everybody, especially when you’re pushing it and trying to come back," he said. "But you have to take a step back,. It's 10 steps forward and one step back."
Aardsma wasn't concerned about the talk of his velocity being down. He expected it to be down a little. But he isn't buying the reports of 89-90 on his fastball. And if its true, he's doesn't care. He knows it will improve.
"I know on our gun I hit 94," he said. "That’s right where I would be at spring training. Last year at spring training someone said my average velocity was 91. That’s right in the middle of where I’m at right now. I’m not really worried about velocity. That’s the last thing I should be worried about. I’m worried about feeling good. Right now my hip feels great and I’m making sure with my arm that there’s no problem."
As for his role when he does get back with the Mariners, he doesn't believe he should be handed the closer job since he had it before.
"I’m not worried about that," he said. "When I come back, I’ll have to earn a spot in that bullpen and make the best out of it and help the team."
If he were in Wedge's position, he wouldn't give him the closer spot back automatically.
"It would not be smart," Aardsma said. "I have to pitch against big-league hitters and show that I can get guys out. I have to show that I can take a role in the bullpen. Brandon (League) is doing a heck of a job, Jamey (Wright), everybody’s doing a great job. I’ve got to do that. I’ve got to face hitters and prove to them that he’s got his stuff, and let them make a decision."
Other notes ...
Center fielder Franklin Gutierrez will DH tonight and play the entire game. He played five innings in last night's game with Tacoma and went 0-for-3.
Former Mariners reliever Mark Lowe was called up from Triple A Round Rock before the game and right-handed reliever Pedro Strop was sent down to Round Rock. Lowe struggled with Rangers early and had four awful outings that led to a 14.50 ERA. But he was throwing well in Round Rock, posting a 1-0 record with a 2.89 ERA in six appearances.
- 51 Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
- 9 Chone Figgins (S) 3B
- 15 Milton Bradley (S) LF
- 30 Miguel Olivo C
- 17 Justin Smoak (S) 1B
- 29 Jack Cust (L) DH
- 2 Jack Wilson 2B
- 55 Michael Saunders (L) CF
- 26 Brendan Ryan SS
36 Michael Pineda RHP
- 5 Ian Kinsler 2B
- 1 Elvis Andrus SS
- 10 Michael Young DH
- 29 Adrian Beltre 3B
- 7 David Murphy (L) LF
- 8 Yorvit Torrealba C
- 18 Mitch Morleand RF
- 19 Chris Davis (L) 1B
- 20 Julio Borbon (L) CF
36 C.J. Wilson LHP