It appears that David Aardsma is going to need a few more appearances with Triple A Tacoma before he’s ready to come back and pitch for the Mariners.
Aardsma was less than stellar. He faced four batters in the eighth inning, striking out two while hitting one and giving up a double. He threw 25 pitches, 14 for strikes. He was lifted before the inning ended because he reached his pitch count.
Mariners manager Eric Wedge wasn’t too concerned.
“It was like 25 degrees,” Wedge said. “He hasn’t had any cooperation with the weather. We are still looking getting back a little more velocity, a little better command.”
“He’s probably going to need a little bit more work.”
The velocity on Aardsma’s fastball is down a little. It’s sitting right around 90-92 instead of 93-95. But Wedge believes it will come back with a few more outings.
“The velocity is not a concern,” Wedge said. “This is spring training for him. I think in spring training you go through a little dead arm and you have to work your way through it.”
But the main thing is that Aardsma’s hip feels healthy.
He will get checked out by the Mariners medical staff on Monday or Tuesday to make sure everything is feeling good. It’s just a routine sort of check-up.
Wedge said that Felix Hernandez will remain on his normal rest following his start tomorrow. That means he will throw on Friday night against the White Sox, and tonight’s starter Doug Fister will get seven days rest and throw again on Saturday.
“As of right now, that’s what we are planning to do,” Wedge said. “It’s not chiseled in stone. We don’t have to make that decision right now.”
Hernandez prefers to work on normal rest and he’s earned the right to keep it the same.
“He’s at the point in his career where he has a say in this,” Wedge said. “If we feel like we need to give him an extra day, we will.”
While a lot of pitchers aren’t bothered by an extra day of rest, two extra days like Fister will get can cause issues.
“There’s a big difference between one day or two days in regards to rest,” Wedge said. “It just depends on the guy… and the type of pitcher they are.”
Wedge said the Mariners coaches can “get creative” in Fister’s situation and vary his weekly work schedule to try and offset any rustiness the two extra days might bring. They can add a second work day in between the start or have some extra throwing on the normally scheduled work day.
“That’s what we did with Bedard,” Wedge said.