Mariners Insider Blog

PREGAME: Beltre gets a break, notes and line-ups

After a tough weekend at the plate, third baseman Adrian Beltre is out of the line-up tonight against the Angels. Ronny Cedeno will get the start at third.

Manager Don Wakatmatsu said it will be only one day, but didn't say whether or not Beltre would go back into the clean-up spot when he came back.

"No one cares about this club or works harder than him and I think the last couple of days it is evident by the way he's going about his at-bats where I think he is trying a little too hard," Wakamatsu said. "We'll use today to let him sit back a little bit and do more work with Alan (Cockrell( and get him back in there (tomorrow). We saw some good things from him on the last road trip and I just felt today would be a good day. He hasn't had a day off since the end of spring training, plus the injuries he's had, felt it was good time to just rest his body."

As for Wakamatsu sitting down and having a meeting with Beltre similar to what he did with Yuni Betancourt and Wlad Balentien, that probably isn't going to happen.

"You have to give him the benefit of the doubt because of his stature," Wakamatsu said. "But it's also when you get to this point, you talk about on-base percentage and it's like anybody else, no one is immune to that. If we want to get out of slump, we're going to talk to everybody about the best way to get out of that slump: Early work. Review at-bats."

But Wakamatsu believes this isn't so much physical as mental.

"I think of lot of his struggles right now is about how much he cares and how much pressure he's putting on himself," he said. "That's basically the reason for sitting him today."

I know some people tend to downplay such ideas, but players have pride and they are aware when they struggle and they don't want to be looked as a reason for a team's losses. And oh yeah, Beltre is in a contract year too. That's always some incentive.

It's pretty obvious that Beltre is guessing up there. Wakamatsu can see all the signs in Beltre.

"You see guys where they'll swing and not maintain their stance and maybe fall across the plate or you'll see their over-agressiveness, especially in the 3 or 4 hole," Wakamatsu said. "You look at Griffey's at-bats and he's selective enough to get on base because of the walks. That's what is tough, do you want to walk when your average dips below a certain amount. That's tough, but it starts there. It starts with trying to get on base whatever way you can and the patience obviously helps."

A few other notes ...

Erik Bedard will start Thursday's game against Joe Saunders (great match-up). ... Carlos Silva had an MRI on his shoulder, but Wakamatsu didn't have the results of it. ... Cesar Jimenez (shoulder) is rehabbing with the Mariners and will stay up with the big club for the rest of the homestand before going out to Arizona. ... Shawn Kelley is ahead of schedule but he's still two or three weeks away from even throwing a ball. But Wakamatsu was still pleased with his progression. ... Ryan Rowland-Smith will throw innings today or tomorrow and then be with the Rainiers for a rehab start on May 23rd.

Mariners

Ichiro RF

Jose Lopez 2B

Ken Griffey Jr. DH

Wlad Balentien LF

Russell Branyan 1B

Kenji Johjima C

Franklin Gutierrez CF

Yuni Betancourt SS

Ronny Cedeno 3B

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Jarrod Washburn P

Angels

Chone Figgins 3B

Erick Aybar SS

Bobby Abreu LF

Torii Hunter CF

Mike Napoli C

Robb Quinlan DH

Juan Rivera LF

Kendry Morales 1B

Howie Kendrick 2B

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John Lackey P

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