Mariners Insider

Archives: July 2009

July
31st

Game # 103 – Deadline’s over, just play ball!

Ichiro Suzuki likely has had this game circled on his calendar since he heard that Vincente Padilla was starting for Texas.

For good reason.

Ichiro has a career batting average of .526 against Padilla in 38 lifetime at-bats – his highest average against any pitcher he’s ever faced more than once.


Similarly, that .526 average is the highest by any hitter against Padilla, who has thrown every combination of pitches to Ichiro that he has.

So Ichiro is fully capable of starting rallies tonight, and the Mariners could certainly use a few.


They get Russell

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July
31st

It’s official: Ian Snell will start for Seattle on Sunday

Ian Snell never quite made it to Tacoma, and the right-handed pitcher will step into Seattle’s starting rotation Sunday against Texas.

“He’s going to take Jarrod’s spot in the rotation,” manager Don Wakamatsu said. “Starting tonight, our rotation is Jason Vargas, Felix Hernandez, Snell, Ryan Rowland-Smith and Luke French or Garrett Olson.”


Don’t panic – the only reason French isn’t automatic is the Mariners haven’t laid eyes on him yet and can’t pencil him into until they do.

As for Snell, he said something today that no player coming to the Mariners has said in years:


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July
31st

Who’s that pitcher throwing in the bullpen? Ian Snell

Here’s a bit of news first-discovered by the great eyes of intrepid radio empress Shannon Drayer – who looked out to the Seattle Mariners bullpen today as we were interviewing Jarrod Washburn.

And who did she see throwing for manager Don Wakamatsu and pitching coach Rick Adair?


Ian Snell, the 27-year-old right-hander picked up from Pittsburgh two days ago in the trade that brought shortstop Jack Wilson to Seattle.

Snell is, technically, enroute to Class AAA Tacoma, but since he’s here – and throwing – it’s not a huge leap to assume he’s going to stay and

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July
31st

Season does not end at the deadline

Jack Zduriencik’s trade of Jarrod Washburn for a couple of younger left-handed pitchers is going to be seen by some as evidence he’s given up on the Seattle Mariners season.

One talk radio voice even asked how Zduriencik could look Felix Hernandez in the ace after making the trade.


That won’t be a problem.

Zduriencik inherited a 101-loss team that, when the season began, was rated near the bottom of all 30 big-league teams by national writers – and not much higher by Seattle beat writers.


If the Mariners finished near .500, it was said, it

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July
31st

Mariners move Washburn and rebuild a rotation

Jarrod Washburn, the veteran left-hander having the finest season of his four-year career in Seattle, has been traded to the Detroit Tigers for two young lefties – Luke French and Mauricio Robles.

The move deepens the Mariners pitching, as French, 23, joins Ian Snell as the second young ready-for-prime-time starters acquired this week in deals.


“We had an opportunity to acquire two starting left-handed pitchers under the age of 23, including one with Major League experience,” general manager Jack Zduriencik said. “As we continue to build the Mariners organization, it is crucial that we acquire depth and quality.

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July
30th

Game # 102 – The Rob Johnson factor is in play

Lou Piniella used to say he didn’t care what his catcher hit – until he didn’t – as long as the team won when he was behind the plate.

The Seattle Mariners have noticed that Rob Johnson is hitting .212, but they’re more impressed with how he handles pitchers.

In his last 11 starts, the Mariners have won nine times, and in his 49 starts this year the team is 32-17.

That’s why he’s catching again tonight.


It’s Garrett Olson vs. Derek Holland – and the temperature is cooler in Arlington than it is in Seattle. Amazing.


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July
30th

Let the Jack Wilson era begin for Seattle

Jack Wilson makes the first start of his Seattle career tonight, batting seventh as manager Don Wakamatsu gets a good look at him before making any long-tem lineup decisions.

The Mariners remain without their top power hitter, Russell Branyan, who has been laid low by back strain. Branyan took batting practice today, will likely play tomorrow. Otherwise, against lefty Derek Holland, the Mariners won’t be starting Ken Griffey Jr. or Kenji Johjima.


Here’s your Seattle starting lineup:

Ichiro RF

Franklin Gutierez CF

Jose Lopez 2B

Mike Sweeney DH

Chris Shelton 1B

Jack

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July
30th

Ex-Mariner Sherrill traded into an NL pennant race

If you think Jack Wilson was happy to make the upward jump in the standings from Pittsburgh to Seattle, think how ex-Mariner George Sherrill feels todcay.

Sherill’s been traded from Baltimore to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and while he may not close, he’s moved from an abysmal team to one with a shot at the post-season.


Sherrill, remember, was the Seattle reliever found in the independent leagues by scout Charlie Kerfeld, who’s now with Philadelphia. He was part of the trade for Erik Bedard, so Sherrill has never had an August or September pennant race in his career.

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