Whatever hopes the Seattle Mariners had about putting the starting rotation they once envisioned on the mound took another hit Friday – Carlos Silva is down with back issues.
That means R.A. Dickey will pitch Saturday on short rest, Jarrod Washburn will work Sunday and, Monday in Texas, it will be Felix Hernandez.
Manager Jim Riggleman hopes Silva can pitch Tuesday, but no one has an idea when left-hander Erik Bedard will pitch again. As of Friday, the shoulder that has sidelined him all month wouldn't even allow him to play catch.
With all that going on, the team is considering sending Brandon Morrow to Tacoma in August, giving him three starts – one of three innings, one of five, one of six – and then bringing him back to the majors in that role.
Will it happen?
"I think if you asked everyone in our front office, our scouts, coaches and players, 50 per cent of them would say Brandon should start," Riggleman said. "The other 50 per cent would say he's better suited for the bullpen."
One thing is certain. Before the season ends, pitchers like Ryan Rowland-Smith, Morrow and Ryan Feierabend will be auditioned for the Seattle rotation of the future.
And the way pitchers are going down, it won't be hard to find a spot for any of them.