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News » Seattle Mariners Notes, Quotes 2009-03-28

Seattle Mariners Notes, Quotes 2009-03-28

Seattle Mariners Notes, Quotes 2009-03-28
--RHP Mark Lowe at one point appeared to be the leading candidate to be the Seattle closer, but through March 26 he had allowed runs in six of his last eight appearances. Lowe is battling RHP Miguel Batista and RHP Roy Corcoran for the job, and none has had a great spring although Corcoran has been sidelined for a week or so. "Mark's got to command the baseball and he's got to get it down to be considered (for the closer job)," manager Don Wakamatsu said.

--3B Matt Tuiasosopo batted over .400 for the spring (.404, seven doubles, two home runs), but that didn't prevent him being sent down to Class AAA Tacoma on Thursday. Tuiasosopo was called the most improved player on the club, offensively and defensively, by manager Don Wakamatsu, and if the Mariners are struggling at midseason to the point where they'd consider trading free agent-to-be 3B Adrian Beltre, Tuiasosopo would be in position to step in after his big spring.

--RHP Felix Hernandez didn't allow any runs in two starts in the World Baseball Classic while pitching for Team Venezuela, but he was pummeled by Kansas City in his first start back with Seattle. He said he command was "horrible," and he chalked it up to it being one of those days.

--LHP Tyler Johnson was looked on as likely to be the Mariners' situational lefty, but Johnson, trying to recover from shoulder surgery, might not be ready. He has not pitched in a Cactus League game yet, and manager Don Wakamatsu said the club might not carry a situational left-hander to start the season, implying that Johnson could start the season in the minor leagues.

--RF Ichiro Suzuki struggled for most of the World Baseball Classic with only seven hits in his first 33 at-bats, but he went 5-for-11 in the semifinals and final, including the game-winning single in the 10th inning to beat Korea in the title game. Two days later he was in the Seattle lineup and hit line drives for singles in his first two at-bats.

--C Jamie Burke missed a couple of days, but not without the proper excuse. He left to return to Oregon for the birth of his son, Payson.

--RHP Brandon Morrow is back throwing in games after missing the better part of three weeks because of a right forearm problem. He has some of his power -- his pitches have reached 97 mph -- but not yet the strength to go deep into games. And he is throwing exclusively from the stretch. That doesn't mean he'll go back to pitching relief, however. "I'm still more comfortable from the stretch," he said. "I'm working on the windup, but not in the game yet."

BY THE NUMBERS: 9 -- The number of consecutive years RF Ichiro Suzuki will have reached 200 hits if he gets there this year. No player in history has done that.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'd need a lobotomy to change anything." -- Batting coach Alan Cockrell when asked if he planned on altering anything in Ichiro's swing.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: March 28, 2009

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