Mariners manager Eric Wedge said he and pitching coach Carl Willis and bullpen coach Jaime Navarro were going to discuss Tom Wilhelmsen's immediate future as the team's closer. And after the off day, they've reached a decision - Wilhelmsen will get a break from those duties.
"We are going to pull him back a little bit with every intention of getting him back to the closer's role," Wedge said. "We are going to give him a break here and let him pitch a few times in the sixth, seventh or eighth inning, see how it plays, maybe give him some multiple inning opportunities."
Wedge isn't going to go with an interim closer.
"We'll just match-up late," Wedge said. "We'll do the best we can with the people down there. We're not going to put it one guy, nobody's ready for that yet."
It will force Wedge to make some changes how he uses the bullpen.
"One of the tough things you have about doing it this way is that you have to have potentially multiple guys ready for you in the ninth inning," Wedge said. "So you can't use one or all of them earlier. It's going to be a little tougher to bridge that gap."
Willis talked with Wilhelmsen earlier today and told him the decision. Wilhelmsen was receptive.
"It was a good talk," Wedge said. "It's just a bump in the road. His stuff and the intangibles are all right there. We just have to get him back on line and we'll back in the closer's role."