The Seattle Mariners, who play Toronto at 7:10 tonight at Safeco Field, have announced three roster moves, listed below with comments from acting manager Robby Thompson:
* Right-handed pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen has been optioned to the Tacoma Rainiers.
Thompson: "We wanted him to go back down and regain his confidence, pinpoint that fastball – of having precise command with it like he’s had in the past, so his secondary stuff can work off of that instead of trying go to that to throw a strike or get them to swing at pitches out of the zone or if he’s behind in the count. It’s been tough for him. The idea is to get him down there and let him start for a couple of innings and really work on really command of the fastball. His other stuff will play once he gets command of that fastball on a consistent basis. A few days off and on, he’ll have some time to work on the side on things down there and then back to starting again and then continuing on from there."
(Thompson also clarified that while Wilhelmsen is getting his work in the first and second innings, he is not being converted to a starter. It's just a matter of letting him get his work in on a regular schedule without waiting in the bullpen and coming in in unknown game situations.)
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* And outfielder Franklin Gutierrez has returned from a rehab assignment at Tacoma, but remains on the 15-day disables list.
Thompson: "He’s still not 100 percent. He still has a couple of good days and a couple of bad days. I think we’ll pull him off and I think it’s a five-day period where he’ll be able to get treatment and he’ll be able to hit in the cage and he’ll throw and start his rehab assignment then. Just talking with him, when he does come back we need him to be at a point where we can use him against right-handers or left-handers, maybe back-to-back days. If he’s not playing he needs to be ready on the bench to maybe pinch hit later, or maybe pinch run and go out to the outfield. Right now he’s not really to that point where he feels comfortable and confident enough to come back right now."
* Right-handed pitcher Carter Capps has been recalled from Triple-A Tacoma.
Thompson: "Power arm, obviously. He’s been throwing pretty well down there. A guy who can come up and give us multiple innings. And once again, we know what Carter has done in the past, and he was sent down to work on some things also. Hopefully with his return we’ll see that – we’ll see a little bit of advancement from him, and he’ll be a guy we’ll be going to."
Finally, the club released outfielder Jason Bay. He had appeared in 68 games, batting .204 with 11 home runs and 20 RBI. He had signed with Seattle as a free agent in December and was designated for assignment on July 29.