Pinch-hitting today at Safeco Field for News Tribune colleague Bob Dutton, who I guess is allowed a day off every four months or so. Dusting off some baseball beat writing from my time covering the Oakland A's (2000-2002) and Mariners (2006-10).
Here's the lineup posted on the clubhouse wall for today's series final at 1:10 p.m. vs. Cleveland. The Mariners (24-25) are trying to get back to .500 for the fifth time this season -- and third time inside a week.
Manager Lloyd McClendon this morning still was not ready -- or willing -- to announce the Mariners' starting pitcher for Tuesday's second game of the home series against the New York Yankees. It will be the first rotation turn since No. 3 starter James Paxton went on the disabled list with a strained left middle finger; Paxton is on a two-week shutdown from all throwing.
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Signs are 25-year-old left-hander Mike Montgomery, the man Seattle got at the end of spring training from Kansas City in the trade of Erasmo Ramirez, may get the promotion from Triple-A Tacoma to start on Tuesday against New York. This was from TNT colleague Christian Caple Saturday, when he was covering the Rainiers:
McClendon met with general manager Jack Zduriencik in the manager's clubhouse office until about 10:45 this morning. When asked this morning about Montgomery's scratch from his Tacoma start today, McClendon went Sgt. Schultz.
"I’ve got my own problems here, so I don’t know why he was scratched from his start," McClendon said.
"We are still working on some things (about Tuesday's starter for Paxton). Spoke to Jack this morning. Just not definite."
Montgomery was a 2008 compensation pick by Kansas City. He has spent his entire professional career in the minors. He is 4-3 with a 3.74 ERA in nine starts with Tacoma this season, his first in the Mariners' system. He has 47 hits allowed in 53 innings, with 47 strikeouts and 15 walks and 1.17 walks-plus-hits per inning pitched. He was 10-5 with a 4.29 ERA last season as a starter for the Royals' Triple-A team in Durham.
IWAKUMA'S GOAL: BULLPEN SESSION BY NEXT WEEKEND
Injured No. 2 starter Hisashi Iwakuma (disabled list, strained right lat) took a rest day Saturday from his throwing regimen in his rehabilitation back towards the rotation. McClendon said the right-hander has a plan to throw all this coming week off flat ground in the hopes of a bullpen session by next weekend.
The manager said the plan includes Iwakuma joining the Mariners on their road trip to Cleveland, Houston and San Francisco June 9-16.
The Mariners couldn't get this far in an earlier attempt at rehabilitation, so this is progress. Iwakuma's been out since April 24, 35 games ago.