Brendan Ryan gets a day off at shortstop and youngster Carlos Triunfel will start as the Mariner face old friend and teammate Jason Vargas. Jason Bay is out of the line-up after hamstring knotted up on him during Sunday’s game. Bay tried to before batting practice, but it was still tight.
“We talked about it, but we’d just be putting him in harm’s way if we put out there,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said.
Michael Morse is feeling better, but the strained quad isn’t 100 percent. But it’s healthy enough for him to play first. Kendrys Morales will be a DH only for a while with a stiff back.
GM Jack Zduriencik is in Sacramento watching the Rainiers. It’s one of the reasons why Justin Smoak isn’t here. Zduriencik wants to watch him play again tonight and then talk with Wedge tonight. Frankin Gutierrez didn’t play yesterday, but that was a scheduled off day.
Wedge labeled Ackley’s transition to the outfield as “good” according to the reports.
One thing that will be interesting to see is if the Angels try to challenge rookie Mike Zunino. As a whole, they don’t run like they used with just 29 stolen bases this season – that number is affected with Erick Aybar (heel) and Peter Bourjos (hamstring) missing significant time with injuries . But Mike Trout has stolen 15 bases this season.
“I think he’s up for the challenge,” Wedge said. “We’ll try to give him as much help as possible.”
While catchers often take the blame for a runner stealing second, some of the responsibility of the pitcher on the mound. The Mariners have a few pitchers, who are not very good about holding runners on base. They’re first part of controlling a running game.
“They have a big time role in it,” Wedge said. “It’s a group effort. We work really hard to limit attempts. That’s the key.”
The Mariners have signed two more players from the 2013 amateur draft: fourth-round pick Ryan Horstman, a left-handed pitcher out of St. Johns, and 11th-round pick Zack Littell, a right-handed pitcher out of Eastern Alamanc HS in Mebane, North Carolina. Horstman will report to Class A Everett, while Littell will play for the Rookie league Peoria Mariners in Arizona.
They’ve now signed 15 of 40 picks and 10 of their top 12 picks.
Second-round pick Austin Wilson, a power-hitting outfielder out of Stanford, is likely to sign in the next few days. A native of Los Angeles, Wilson is down here and will possibly be taking batting practice and work out with the team once that happens. Wilson was projected as a top 10 pick but an elbow injury bothered him much of this season, reducing his numbers. There are reports that Wilson will sign for $1.5 million.