Mariners Insider Blog

Morrow moving to set-up role, Yuni is back in the line-up

Ok, first of all, you'll notice that Larry the Cable Guy is here taking BP with the Mariners in full uniform, well his jersey had the sleeves cut off and by Junior and Mike Sweeney. Larry then scared everybody by putting it on the clubhouse. I've now seen him shirtless and may need electroshock therapy to remove that from my mind.

I will admit, he's not exactly my favorite stand-up comic. I'm prefer Louis CK, Robert Schimmel, Jim Jeffries or Zach Galifianakis.

But several Red Sox and Mariners players are big fans of his. Obviously when he met Roy Corcoran (pictured left), it was like two long lost brothers uniting.

Let's get to the Wakamatsu pregame meeting with the media.

The big news is that Brandon Morrow won't be handling the closing duties tonight.

"I talked to Brandon today, and told him what we are going to do with him is put him in the bullpen, not in the closer's role, but give him some innings and get him to where he feels he can command the baseball better," Wakamatsu said.

So who will be doing the closing?

Well .... "We're going to end up seeing on each individual game who's best avaible to close the game," Wakamatsu said. "Obviously Aardsma will be in there."

That sounds like the dreaded closer by committee to me. But at this point, that's what they feel is best, though my hunch is that nine times out of 10 you will see Aardsma in that role.

And there is no timetable for Morrow to return to the closing spot as of yet.

"We've basically told him if he goes out there and commands the baseball he's going to be successful and that will give us an indication of what that (return to closing) will be," Wakamatsu said.

"He knows its more about throwing the pitch where he wants to throw it and not falling behind and when he does that the confidence will come back," Wakamatsu said. "He seemed relieved in a sense. But he also knows he as some work to do."

The idea is get Morrow so more innings ... "whether its the fifth, sixth or seventh or multiple innings, let's get him out there pitching."

As for Yuni and his return to the line-up here's what Wak had to say.

"There's certain things in his game that he needs to clean up and improve on," Wakamatsu said.

And he isn't going to afraid to sit players, he told them so in a pregame meeting today.

"I'll sit guys at different times whether you are not playing to your ability or you need a break because of struggles," Wakamatsu said. "I think in his case it was a combination of both."

And make no mistake it was a benching for Yuni. Wakamatsu and his staff didn't let him know in advance he was sitting. When he got to the park both days and looked at the lineup is when he found out he wasn't playing and believe me that does send a message by doing it that way.

Here's Today's lineup -- thanks to Jeff Evans for sending it. You'll notice in the Red Sox lineup that David Ortiz is also not in the line-up, manager Terry Francona is giving him a day or two off because of his struggles at the plate.

Mariners

Ichiro RF

Jose Lopez 2B

Mike Sweeney DH

Adrian Beltre 3B

Wladimir Balentien LF

Russell Branyan 1B

Kenji Johjima C

Yuni Betancourt SS

Frankline Gutierrez CF

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Chris Jakubauskas P

Red Sox

Jacoby Ellsbury CF

Dustin Pedroia 2B

JD Drew RF

Jason Bay LF

Mike Lowell 3B

Rocco Baldelli DH

Julio Lugo SS

Jason Varitek C

Jeff Bailey 1B

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Jon Lester P

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