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News » Seattle Mariners Notes, Quotes 2009-04-06

Seattle Mariners Notes, Quotes 2009-04-06

Seattle Mariners Notes, Quotes 2009-04-06
--3B Matt Tuiasosopo was told 48 hours before camp broke that he might be on the roster, or might not be. He packed to go with the club to Minnesota and to go to Class AAA Tacoma, too. But his .404 spring average, coupled with RF Ichiro Suzuki going on the disabled list, allowed him to make the cut. "They called me into Don (Wakamatsu's) office (Saturday)," Tuiasosopo said. "Don whispered, 'You're going to Minnesota with us.' And then (general manager) Jack (Zduriencik) came in and made it official."

--RF Ichiro Suzuki was placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career. He came out of a game Monday (March 30) after two at-bats complaining of light-headedness. He was subsequently diagnosed with a bleeding ulcer (the bleeding had stopped) and excessive fatigue. He pleaded to be allowed to start the season on the roster, but general manager Jack Zduriencik and manager Don Wakamatsu said the recommendation was rest and they were going to go with the medical advice.

--RHP Chris Jakubauskas was the biggest surprise of the spring training camp. His 1.99 ERA in 22 1/3 innings this spring enabled the former college outfielder to make the big league roster as a member of the Seattle bullpen. "Chris showed he could handle any role," manager Don Wakamatsu said.

--RHP Brandon Morrow was injured for much of the spring (right forearm) and didn't get the chance to show that he could be the starting pitcher he wanted to be. He went to manager Don Wakamatsu and pitching coach Rick Adair and told them he thought he would be more effective pitching in relief, so he starts the season as the closer. He had 10 saves and a 1.47 ERA in relief last year. "I think I can help the team more in the bullpen," Morrow said. "I think I'm better built for the bullpen."

--RHP Shawn Kelley began the 2008 season in lower Class-A baseball. He starts the 2009 season in the big leagues. His spring ERA was 7.71, but the Mariners feel the number is deceptive, and he showed both poise and quality pitches. "He opened some eyes," general manager Jack Zduriencik said.

--INF Ronny Cedeno has a little experience in the outfield, and he could be pressed into duty there if needed with RF Ichiro Suzuki on the disabled list for the first nine games of the season. It was that flexibility that enabled the Mariners to add 3B Matt Tuiasosopo to the roster in place of Ichiro instead of another outfielder.

--OF Ken Griffey Jr. got virtually all of his spring work in left field, but he could be in right field to start the season. The former Gold Glove-winning center fielder has much more experience in right field, and with RF Ichiro Suzuki on the disabled list, the Mariners may take advantage of that.

BY THE NUMBERS: 0 -- The number of left-handed pitchers in the Seattle bullpen to start the season.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We told the guys they were coming in for a chance to compete for a job. And a lot of them did." -- General manager Jack Zduriencik on three rookies (3B Matt Tuiasosopo, RHP Chris Jakubauskas and RHP Shawn Kelley) making the roster.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: April 6, 2009

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