We’ve got two guys up here tonight for the monumental, season-changing series with the Baltimore Orioles. Actually, Doug Pacey is up here to cover the game, while I sat and reminisced with Adam Jones about the simpler times in Cheney Stadium in Tacoma.
Actually, Jones is quite giddy today and in a good mood. First of all, it’s his 23rd birthday today, but more than that it’s because he’s raised his average to .275 this season. He’s hit in 22 of his last 29 games, going 37-for-118 with two doubles, four triples, three homers and 20 RBI. Since June 1, he’s hitting .300 (60-for-200) with seven doubles, four triples, five homers, 31 runs scored and 31 RBI.
A few things from Jim Riggleman’s media gathering …
The Mariners will go to battle with 24 players tonight. Seattle hasn’t decided on who to call up to replace Arthur Rhodes’ spot on the 25-man roster, so they will go with no one tonight. Since R.A. Dickey went 7 2/3 the other night, the Mariners bullpen is pretty rested.
As to who it will be, Riggleman wasn’t certain.
"It’s going to be a reliever," he said. "We’re just going to try and go through it here for another week and see what we have. Whoever we bring up will go to our bullpen immediately."
Riggleman said the team was considering "two or three" pitchers.
If he’s looking at relievers from the Rainiers, they have righthanders Jared Wells, Jon Huber, Oscar Villareal or Jorge Sosa. Not much in the way of lefthanded relief help, other than Jake Woods. But Seattle has Cesar Jimenez in the bullpen.
* From Doug: Injury updates
Shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt’s sore right elbow – his throwing arm – will likely keep him out of the starting lineup until at least Sunday, Riggleman said. Betancourt hasn’t played since Tuesday because of a "tender" throwing arm.
"Had sore elbow last year, it popped up again," Riggleman said. "Rather than let it be a chronic thing, we’re going to let it calm down. When he says it’s calmed down and he can fire the ball around, we’ll run him out there."
Riggleman said Betancourt told him he would be ready to play today, but the manager will probably hold him out for an extra day to make sure Betancourt’s elbow has been rested enough.
Catcher Jeff Clement, suffering from a bruised right thumb, told Riggleman that it feels well enough to hit and he should be ready to throw today. Clement hasn’t played since Monday.
Starting pitcher Erik Bedard, who hasn’t pitched since July 4, will throw in the bullpen on Sunday, Riggleman said. He was put on the disabled list on July 10 because of stiffness in his shoulder.
Let’s get to some links really quickly …
* Here’s Larry’s game story from today’s paper which leads with R.A. Dickey making a case for the starting rotation. Would anybody argue putting Dickey in over Batista at this point?
* Here’s the story on the Arthur Rhodes trade and GM Lee Pelekoudas’ assessment of what went down.
* Columnist John McGrath offered up his own take on the Mariners trade deadline moves, or lack thereof, in this column.
* Rainiers starter Andy Baldwin, who was acquired in the Jamie Moyer trade, had a strong outing last night.
* Speaking of the Rainiers, the voice of the Rainiers, and friend of this blog Mike Curto was on KJR with Ian Furness today, here’s the audio of the interview.
Here’s the lineups …
Brian Roberts 2B
Adam Jones CF
Nick Markakis RF
Aubrey Huff DH
Melvin Mora 3B
Ramon Hernandez C
Kevin Millar 1B
Jay Payton LF
Juan Castro SS
Garrett Olson LHP