Mariners Notebook | Brandon Morrow throws without pain
A pain-free Brandon Morrow threw a six-minute bullpen session on Wednesday afternoon as the Mariners attempt to finalize their relief corps...
Seattle Times staff reporter
PEORIA, Ariz. — A pain-free Brandon Morrow threw a six-minute bullpen session on Wednesday afternoon as the Mariners attempt to finalize their relief corps.
Morrow is to have another bullpen session on Friday, then perhaps throw once more after that before getting back into another Cactus League game. If all goes well, Morrow will wind up missing about two weeks' worth of games because of his fatigued right shoulder.
"That's not too bad in the big scheme of things," Morrow said, sweat still streaming off his brow. "You see guys go down during the season and they sometimes need a week or two to get back up to speed. So, no, I don't think that time off is really going to set me back much."
Morrow worked mostly at rediscovering his release point and arm slot during the session, under the eye of pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre. The Mariners are closely monitoring Morrow's progress, trying to figure out whether they'll need to carry a seventh arm in their bullpen.
One bullpen decision was finalized on Wednesday as Eric O'Flaherty was officially anointed the replacement for George Sherrill as the team's late-inning situational left-hander. That became reality when Cesar Jimenez was one of four players optioned to Class AAA Tacoma before Seattle's 7-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Peoria Stadium.
Jimenez was the only pitcher with a true shot at supplanting O'Flaherty. But the team figures he needs a better breaking ball if he's going to get left-handers out with the same consistency of O'Flaherty.
"I've always liked Eric," Mariners manager John McLaren said. "He's a good competitor. Did a great job for us last year. Looks like he's improved this year. "
One of the other big-name cuts was former No. 1 draft pick Jeff Clement, who could very likely be back with the team this season. Clement will play every day as a catcher at Class AAA, though he is an option for the Mariners should one of their power bats falter.
Clement had only three hits in 19 at-bats and no home runs this spring. But McLaren had already declared that his only chance to make the club would be by beating out Kenji Johjima at catcher, or Jose Vidro at DH.
That wasn't going to happen with Clement's spring numbers. But those are expected to change once Clement starts to play every day in AAA.
Right-handed relievers Jon Huber and Sean White were also optioned to Tacoma. Left-handed pitcher Phillip Barzilla and infielder Matt Tuiasosopo were re-assigned to minor-league camp.
Relievers roughed up
Arthur Rhodes, Chris Reitsma and Mark Lowe each were touched up in a game between Tacoma and Class AA West Tennessee. Rhodes surrendered five earned runs on five hits and two walks in just two innings while pitching for Tacoma.
Reitsma gave up a run on one hit and two walks while striking out a pair in tossing one inning for the AA squad. Lowe fared the best, yielding a run on one hit while fanning two over two innings..
McLaren said he could envision, at best, one of the three possibly being ready to start the season with the major-league club.
Wednesday's box score
|Young cf||2||1||2||1||Ichiro cf||4||2||1||0|
|Nixon 1b||1||0||0||0||Jimerson cf||1||0||0||0|
|Jackson 1b||4||1||1||0||Lopez 2b||2||2||1||1|
|Merchan 3b||1||0||0||0||Ibanez lf||4||1||2||3|
|Hudson 2b||5||0||1||1||Reed lf||0||0||0||0|
|Byrnes lf||3||0||0||0||Beltre 3b||4||0||1||1|
|Snyder c||4||0||0||0||Tuiasosopo 3b||0||0||0||0|
|Mercado c||0||0||0||0||Sexson dh||3||0||0||0|
|Reynolds 3b||3||1||1||0||Wilkerson rf||4||0||1||1|
|Oeltjen rf||0||0||0||0||Morse rf||0||0||0||0|
|Drew ss||3||1||1||0||Vidro 1b||4||0||0||0|
|Petit p||0||0||0||0||Norton 1b||0||0||0||0|
|Upton rf||3||0||3||1||Johjima c||4||0||0||0|
|Ojeda ss||1||0||0||0||Betancourt ss||4||2||3||0|
|Owings p||2||0||0||0||Cairo pr-ss||4||2||3||0|
|Arizona||200 200 000||—||4|
|Seattle||320 002 00x||—||7|
E — Upton, Betancourt. DP — Seattle 2. LOB — Arizona 9, Seattle 6. 2B — Young, Drew, Upton, Ibanez, Betancourt, Lopez. CS — Upton.
|Washburn, W||3 1/3||6||4||3||2||4|
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
UPDATE - 8:27 PM
Catcher Gregg Zaun retires after 16 seasons
Seattle Times transportation reporter Mike Lindblom describes some of the factors that may have led to the collapse of the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River in Mount Vernon on Thursday, May 23.