M's Notebook | Reyes may be target for trade
Here's another name to keep in mind as Tuesday's trade deadline approaches: Tampa Bay closer Al Reyes. The Mariners have been monitoring...
Seattle Times staff writer
Today | vs. L.A. Angels, 7:05 p.m., FSN | M's RHP Miguel Batista (10-7, 4.48) vs. RHP Kelvim Escobar (11-4, 2.91).
Tuesday | vs. L.A. Angels, 7:05 p.m., FSN | M's RHP Jeff Weaver (2-9, 5.96) vs. RHP John Lackey (12-6, 3.27).
Wednesday | vs. L.A. Angels, 7:05 p.m., FSN | M's RHP Felix Hernandez (7-6, 3.85) vs. RHP Jered Weaver (7-5, 3.68).
Friday | vs. Boston, 7:05 p.m., FSN | M's LHP Horacio Ramirez (6-3, 6.52) vs. LHP Jon Lester (1-0, 4.26)
Saturday | vs. Boston, 7:05 p.m., FSN | M's LHP Jarrod Washburn (8-7, 4.11) vs. RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (12-8, 3.75).
Here's another name to keep in mind as Tuesday's trade deadline approaches: Tampa Bay closer Al Reyes.
The Mariners have been monitoring the Devil Rays with two scouts this weekend, including Norm Charlton, their former closer who is doing special-assignment scouting for general manager Bill Bavasi.
The 37-year-old Reyes, who broke into the majors with Milwaukee in 1995, has had a career resurgence this season, after missing virtually all of 2006 following Tommy John surgery.
Reyes has 1-1 record and 4.50 earned-run average in 38 games, with 17 saves in 18 appearances. Reyes has struck out 43 in 38 innings while holding opponents to a .193 average. He has not had a save opportunity for a month for the struggling Rays.
Because of the dearth of quality starters on the market, the Mariners may now be focusing on setup relief — specifically, an eighth-inning bridge to closer J.J. Putz — to strengthen their team.
Right-hander Octavio Dotel of Kansas City is one name they covet, and Reyes appears to be another. Tampa Bay acquired a potential closer replacement earlier this week when it traded third baseman Ty Wigginton to Houston for right-hander Dan Wheeler.
The Mariners appear set on making subtle moves to help the team rather than tearing it up with a blockbuster. It's also possible a move could come after Tuesday, when players can still be traded as long as they clear waivers.
The Mariners have their scouts looking for starting pitching but may come to the conclusion that nothing available is better than what they have.
They are also looking for bench help, and could come to the same conclusion there.
Keep in mind, however, that much can change in the final hours before the deadline. For instance, if a pitcher such as the White Sox's Jon Garland, currently off limits, is made available, the Mariners would likely be prepared to make a strong bid.
The club is unlikely to trade top prospect Adam Jones, who stands to be given strong consideration for a call-up to the majors after the deadline. But outfielder Wladimir Balentien, having a strong year at Tacoma, could well be in play.
Only two players since 1900 have reached 1,500 hits faster than Ichiro, who achieved that milestone Sunday with a second-inning single.
It took Ichiro 1,060 games, a pace exceeded only by Hall of Famers Al Simmons (1,040) and George Sisler (1,048).
"The pace is basically my own pace, and it's hard to evaluate myself," Ichiro said when asked about the accomplishment. "Unless I get to 1,500, I can't hit 1,501. In that sense, all numbers are important."
Manager John McLaren saw Ichiro's first Mariners hit in 2001 (after the outfielder got 1,278 in Japan) as Lou Piniella's bench coach.
"He's a marvelous player, and what I enjoy is watching him have fun," McLaren said. "When he has fun, it's like Junior [Ken Griffey Jr.] when Junior had that smile on his face out there. Energy players, that's what I call them."
Ichiro says he's having lots of fun this year, especially with the team winning.
"I love baseball," he said. "Also, Mac's a fun guy."
• McLaren held C Jamie Burke (sore neck) out of the lineup again, both to give Burke another day to heal and keep Kenji Johjima's rejuvenated bat in the lineup.
"Burkie can play today, but I like what I see in Kenji," McLaren said. "He's starting to put it together."
Burke believes he hurt his neck sleeping awkwardly on the plane returning from Texas on Wednesday.
• Mark Lowe, who made his long-awaited 2007 debut on Saturday, said he's not concerned about regaining the triple-digit readings on the speed gun he has had in the past.
"What's more important is how I feel when I'm throwing, and the day after, and the day after that," he said. "Right now, it feels good. If I get guys out, velocity doesn't matter."
• Former "CHiPs" star Erik Estrada threw out the first pitch on "Turn Back The Clock Day."
• The Mariners scored seven runs in three innings off Oakland starter Lenny DiNardo, who came in with the lowest earned-run average (2.41) of any AL pitcher with at least 65 innings.
• The struggles of Mariners reliever Chris Reitsma continue. He gave up four runs in the sixth and saw his ERA rise to 7.61.
• The Mariners and MasterCard have teamed up for a celebration of Japanese baseball at Safeco Field tonight. Events will include the ceremonial first pitch being thrown out by Isao Uzaki, Vice Mayor of Kobe, Japan. Kobe is Seattle's oldest sister city.
For the record
vs. AL West: 18-16
vs. L.A.: 2-7
vs. Oakland: 10-3
vs. Texas: 6-6
vs. AL East: 18-10
vs. AL Cent.: 12-11
vs. NL: 9-9
vs. LHP: 21-8
vs. RHP: 36-38
Extra innings: 3-1
Sunday's crowd: 41,961
Season total: 1,691,413
Biggest crowd: 46,340 (June 22)
Smallest crowd: 16,555 (May 2)
Average (53 dates): 31,913
2006 average (53 dates): 29,341
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
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