Mariners Insider

April
19th

Mariners notebook: Maurer ready for opportunity

MIAMI — It’s different this time, Brandon Maurer said, as he prepares for his season debut Sunday as the Mariners’ starting pitcher in the series finale against the Marlins.

A year ago, he was the young phenom who broke camp with the big-league club by making the jump from Double-A Jackson after an electric spring. He recalls the experience as “stressful.”

Maurer’s return, in contrast, is almost under the radar following four outings at Triple-A Tacoma after a spring interrupted by recurrent stiffness in his lower back.

“I’m more comfortable this time,” he said. “And after starting this year in

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April
18th

Rainiers transaction madhouse

Tacoma Rainiers manager Roy Howell has been a popular guy lately.

His phone has been ringing almost off the hook the past five days. It’s his clubhouse phone, but all the same – he’s got what the Seattle Mariners want.

The Rainiers have undergone 22 official transactions since the start of the season (15 days ago). Fourteen have occurred the past five days.

“That’s why we’ve talked about how it’s very important for me and this staff to have these guys ready when the phone rings,” Howell said. “And lately it’s been ringing a lot.”

The Mariners have snagged away

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April
18th

Iwakuma expected to pitch Tuesday for Tacoma

MIAMI — All-Star right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma experienced no problems Friday in a simulated game and, barring something unexpected, will begin his minor-league rehab assignment Tuesday at Triple-A Tacoma.

“I was going 100 percent, just like a game, and I had no pain,” said Iwakuma, who was diagnosed in early February with a strained ligament in his middle finger.

“I was pain-free with my finger. Everything looks good so far. I think I’m at around 70 percent right now. I still need to command my pitches and get that feel back.”

Iwakuma threw 35 pitches, including his trademark split-finger fastball, in an

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April
17th

Choi’s suspension will open up more playing time for Montero at first base

The rain stuck around Thursday, meaning the Tacoma Rainiers had their fourth home rainout of April.

That makeup game with Salt Lake will be part of a doubleheader Friday to conclude the four-game series. The Rainers and Bees will play a pair of seven-inning games at Cheney Stadium – with the first game scheduled for 6:05 p.m.

That doesn’t mean there wasn’t a bit of action Thursday. Earlier in the afternoon, the organization announced that first baseman Ji-Man Choi received a 50-game suspension from Major League Baseball after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

The PED is methandienone, an anabolic

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April
17th

Tacoma’s Choi suspended 50 games for PED violation

Triple-A Tacoma first baseman Ji-Man Choi received a 50-game suspension from Major League Baseball after testing positive for methandienone, a performance-enhancing substance.

The suspension takes effect immediately. Procedurally, Choi is placed on the restricted list for the length of the suspension without pay. It does create an opening on the Mariners’ 40-man roster.

Choi issued a statement in which he expressed surprise at the finding.

A banned substance was detected in my urine sample,” he said. “I do not know what I could have taken that caused me to test positive. I have not and never would knowingly

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April
17th

Mariners notebook: Maurer looms as likely Sunday starter

ARLINGTON, Texas — There’s nothing official yet, but right-hander Brandon Maurer looms as an increasingly likely promotion candidate to start Sunday’s series finale in Miami.

Right-hander Anthony Fernandez, the other top possibility, threw 83 pitches Wednesday in Triple-A Tacoma’s 8-5 victory over Salt Lake (Angels).

General manager Jack Zduriencik said the Mariners would likely look internally for a starter to replace injured Blake Beavan, who was placed Wednesday on the disabled list because of shoulder tendinitis.

Fernandez and Maurer are the only starters in the minors currently on the club’s 40-man roster. Maurer, 23, loomed as a rotation candidate in

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April
17th

Hart convinces McClendon that he’s ready to play right field

ARLINGTON, Texas — So what changed?

Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said earlier this week that Corey Hart “wasn’t anywhere close” to being ready to play right field due to concerns regarding the start/stop stress on his surgically repaired knees.

And then…Hart started Thursday afternoon in right field for the first time since July 21, 2012 when the Mariners closed out a four-game series against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park.

Well?

“He told he’s feeling good,” McClendon said. “That his knees are fine. Hey, listen, I’ve got to go with my player. He says he’s feeling pretty good. But we’ll

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April
16th

Mariners collapse late in 3-2 loss to Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas — Not all losses are the same. Some are bad. Others worse. And some, like the Mariners experienced Wednesday night, eat at you in a way that makes you yearn to forget and move on.

The Mariners threw away the latest dominant start by Felix Hernandez with a stunning two-out collapse in the ninth inning that permitted the Texas Rangers to claim a 3-2 victory at Globe Life Park.

“It stings,” catcher Mike Zunino said, “but one thing about it is we play a day game (Thursday). A quick turnaround. You have to bounce back. You can’t dwell on

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