Eric Wedge won’t be with the Seattle Mariners for a third consecutive game as he continues to recover from a dizzy spell that caught almost everyone by surprise when the incident occurred two days ago.
Even more shocking is how long it has kept him away. Bench coach Robby Thompson took over managing duties after Wedge left before Monday’s opener of the three-game series against the visiting Cleveland Indians and he said the team expects to have more information this afternoon.
“Obviously we were hoping to get him out right away, but under these circumstances he has been through, it has taken longer,” Thompson said. “We are playing on the cautious side of things.”
The fact today’s game is a 12:40 p.m. start might have played a role in keeping Wedge away for one more day, as well.
“If any of us were in the hospital, we would want to be out there as soon as possible,” Thompson said. “That’s how he feels.”
Thompson said Wedge seemed to be doing well and they had plenty of lineup conversations, though Thompson said he already created it by the time they visited.
Raul Ibanez gets the day off with lefty Scott Kazmir on the mound for the Indians and because of the quick turnaround to the day game from the Mariners 4-3 victory Tuesday night.
Mike Zunino is also out, replaced by Henry Blanco. Endy Chavez is in right field and Jason Bay in left.
Most remember last night’s victory for the unconventional 5-4-2-6 double play with no outs and runners on the corners in the top of the ninth, but Zunino’s block of Tom Wilhelmsen’s outside pitch in the dirt was equally as huge in the M’s victory.
After getting a second look on film afterward, Thompson was even more impressed.
“That was unbelievable,” Thompson said. “I didn’t realize how good a play it was until I got home and watched it again last night. I was like, ‘Wow, that was impressive.’ He was way out there.”
It was yet another instance of Zunino’s poise and maturity behind the plate. Not bad for a 22-year-old who was just joining the Everett Aquasox out of the University of Florida at this time last year.
Heck, not bad for any catcher.
“He has been key behind the plate for us,” Thompson said. “He’s been improving and it’s showing.”
Joe Saunders starts today, bringing his 4-0 record and 1.73 ERA in four July starts. (Please re-read that previous line one more time.) He opposes Kazmir (5-4, 4.30 ERA) as the Mariners look to push their win streak to nine games, sweep three consecutive opponents and continue to have Mariner fans daring to glance at MLB standings for the first time in months.
Updates on Wedge will be posted as they are announced.