A pretty quiet pregame meeting with Don Wakamatsu. It’s tough to come up with questions other than: What the hell happened in Anaheim?
Obviously we didn’t ask that, but Wakamatsu was asked how a team comes back after losing a pair of games that were the equivalent of two kicks to the stomach while you are already on the ground hurting.
“All we can control is today,” Wakamatsu said. “You look at the second loss in Anaheim, I thought we came back and played as hard as we could play. We have a brand new series, and we are back home in front of our fans, and I don’t expect any different. You have to continue to move forward.”
Wak was asked about the Mariners tempering any postgame walk-off celebrations.
“I’ve read different managers’ quotes on how they are going to handle it, whether it’s Gardenhire saying he’s not going to do it, or Scioscia putting a ban on it,” Wakamatsu said. “The biggest problem there is when guys jump up high, you run the risk of landing on a player or landing someone’s foot. They obviously toned it down yesterday. I’ve talked to the players. But that’s an emotional time. I don’t think its something and say, “you are going to go out and shake hands in that situation. Those type of injuries affect all of major league baseball and players take notice.”
Of course, the M’s only have had one walk-off win this season. So it maybe isn’t quite a major concern.
“I’d like to have 13 or 14 of those from here on forward and then I will let you know,” Wakamatsu said.
The pitchers took batting practice. And while Jason Vargas is clearly the most polished of the group, Ryan Rowland-Smith hit two home runs. Felix Hernandez tried to replicate his home run swing off of Johan Santana. His approach at the plate features the Eric Davis bat wiggle, the Jose Cruz leg kick and typical pitchers’ results.
Jesus Colome swung and missed at several pitches during BP, insert jokes here.
C Adam Moore and SS Jack Wilson took early batting practice and played some catch. They will be re-evaluated later today. If everything goes well over the next three or four days, Wilson would be sent out on a rehab assignment on Friday. Moore’s injury is a little different and he won’t be ready for a rehab assignment as soon.
LHP Erik Bedard will throw long toss today. If all goes well, Bedard is tentatively scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Friday which Moore would catch.
C Josh Bard is still feeling stiffness in his strained calf and is a long way from returning.
RHP Mark Lowe has not progressed any further in his recovery from a herniated disk in his lower back.
“It’s just lingering,” Wakamatsu said.
Wak was asked how much they miss Lowe?
“Quite a bit obviously, he’s a guy that did a lot for us last year in that situation,” Wakamatsu said. “We’ve tried to fill that gap I think unfairly it put a lot of pressure on Brandon League. We kind of set out coming out of spring training where we could mix and match and maybe take the work load off those guys.”
A few interesting lineup notes … with lefty Francisco Liriano on the mount, Matt Tuiasosopo will start at first instead of Casey Kotchman.
The Twins will be starting Michael Cuddyer at second base for the first time since 2005. Normal starting second baseman Orlando Hudson injured his wrist in the last out of yesterday’s game in Texas. He is joining the team in Seattle, but could be out two to three days.
There’s not a lot of free outs in the Twins lineup, with the exception of maybe Punto or Hardy.
- Denard Span CF
- JJ Hardy SS
- Joe Mauer C
- Justin Morneau 1B
- Jim Thome DH
- Michael Cuddyer 2B
- Jason Kubel RF
- Delmon Young LF
- Nick Punto 3B
LHP Francisco Liriano (4-3, 3.17 ERA)
- Ichiro RF
- Chone Figgins 2B
- Franklin Gutierrez CF
- Milton Bradley LF
- Mike Sweeney DH
- Jose Lopez 3B
- Josh Wilson SS
- Rob Johnson C
- Matt Tuiasosopo 1B
RHP Doug Fister (3-2, 2.03 ERA)