Mariners Insider Blog

PREGAME: Burke called up, Stark DFA'd, Yuni sits again

The Mariners were forced to make a roster move with Rob Johnson's sore foot not getting any better, so they called up catcher Jamie Burke from Tacoma and designated reliever Denny Stark for assignment.

"Rob is much better today," Wakamatsu said. "He was on crutches yesterday. But it's something that we think is going to heal up pretty fairly fast."

Johnson could have played on an emergency basis on Tuesday, but Wakamatsu is looking at having him ready by the end of the Baltimore series. That's why Wakamatsu decided to not to put him on the disabled list.

"It's unfortunate for Denny, but the way these games have gone and the way we have been forced to use the bullpen, he hasn't pitched a whole lot," Wakamatsu said.

Stark has only pitched once since May 25th. He appeared in nine games, and finished with an 0-1 record and a 6.55 ERA.

"If you take the 1/3 of an inning away, his numbers are awfully good," Wakamatsu said.

That third of an inning was against Texas when he gave up five runs on six hits.

Burke is starting at catcher today.

Ryan Rowland-Smith will not start Thursday against the Orioles like he had hoped. Wakamatsu said they are sending Rowland-Smith back to Triple A Tacoma and there is no timetable on his return.

"It was and it wasn't the fact that his outing wasn't where we thought it was," Wakamatsu said. "There's a reason why for the 14 hits. It's not just a bad outing and that's what we tried to convince him."

Rowland-Smith tried to convince the staff he's ready to return, but Wakamatsu felt different.

"In fairness to this club, in fairness to the bullpen, in fairness to him, it behooves us to have him pitch a little more down there," he said.

Rowland-Smith's reduced velocity is also a bit of a factor, Wakamatsu admitted.

"That's part of not wanting to expedite this," Wakamatsu said. "If he would have been electric down there and maybe been at 89, maybe it's a different story. The velocity comes into play and with that, is his arm truly in shape? That was his fifth outing and his longest one."

Wakamatsu's thinking on this a direct reflection of the struggles of Brandon Morrow.

"I think I learned a valuable lesson with Morrow," he said. "You can't just throw them right back into the fire."

Line-ups

For the third straight day, Yuni Betancourt is out of the line-up. And no, it's not to get Ronny Cedeno more playing time. Cedeno is nursing a nasty contusion on his leg from fouling two balls off his shin. Yuni is sitting out for a reason. My guess is his approach and the attitude he has displayed on the days he isn't playing haven't helped. I know the coaching staff does not care for his preparation, his commitment to getting better and his attitude about the whole situation.

Mariners

Ichiro Suzuki RF

Russell Branyan 1B

Adrian Beltre 3B

Ken Griffey Jr. DH

Jose Lopez 2B

Ronny Cedeno SS

Endy Chavez LF

Jamie Burke C

Franklin Gutierrez CF

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Erik Bedard (4-2, 2.37 ERA)

Twins

Denard Span LF

Joe Mauer C

Justin Morneau DH

Joe Crede 3B

Jason Kubel RF

Michaels Cuddyer 1B

Brendan Harris SS

Carlos Gomez CF

Alexi Casilla 2B

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Kevin Slowey (8-1, 3.97 ERA)

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