Mariners Notebook | Morrow might move into a starting role
When it comes to the possible conversion of Brandon Morrow from a reliever to a starter, the Mariners are "still in the talking stages,"...
Seattle Times staff writer
Today | vs. Boston, 7:10 p.m., FSN | M's LH Erik Bedard (3-3, 4.70) vs. RH Tim Wakefield (3-3, 5.19).
Friday | vs. Detroit, 7:10 p.m., FSN | M's RH Carlos Silva (3-4, 5.14) vs. LH Nate Robertson (2-5, 5.88).
Saturday | vs. Detroit, 12:55 p.m., Ch. 13 | M's LH Jarrod Washburn (2-6, 6.54) vs. RH Justin Verlander (2-7, 5.16).
Sunday | vs. Detroit, 1:10 p.m., FSN | M's RH Felix Hernandez (2-5, 3.60) vs. LH Kenny Rogers (4-4, 6.66).
Monday | vs. Los Angeles Angels, 7:10 p.m., FSN | M's RH Miguel Batista (3-6, 5.98) vs. RH Ervin Santana (7-2, 3.09).
When it comes to the possible conversion of Brandon Morrow from a reliever to a starter, the Mariners are "still in the talking stages," manager John McLaren said this week.
McLaren, however, has come out in favor of the idea, and indicated it will be examined more closely this week. How does Morrow, who has just five professional starts, all in the minors, feel about it?
"It's something I'm in favor of," he said. "But I don't know how far along they are in talking about it."
The Yankees are in the process of making a similar conversion with Joba Chamberlain. Morrow believes that, similar to Chamberlain, he can build himself up for a starting role without going down to the minors.
"Definitely," he said. "I would rather do it up here, not just for the fact of being up in the big leagues. I think if I'm transitioning to being a starter, having as much time as possible with Mel [pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre] would be beneficial to me."
The biggest challenge for Morrow, besides building up his arm strength, will be honing his off-speed pitches.
"I think it's tougher for me to maintain that and be consistent with them [as a reliever], just because of how many fastballs I throw," he said. "Why throw anything else when I'm getting outs with my fastball? They're hitting about .150 off my fastball, and, like, .400 off everything else.
"I think it's just inconsistency. I don't throw off-speed pitches that much because I don't have to."
Richie Sexson, his average mired at .200, was not in the starting lineup on Tuesday, with Miguel Cairo getting his sixth start of the season at first base. Four of Cairo's previous five starts came while Sexson was suspended for charging the mound
"We're just giving Cairo a chance to play and keep him in the mix, and give Richie a day off," McLaren said. "You can read into this a lot of ways. It has nothing to do with Richie hitting below .200 or anything. We're just getting a different look tonight, that's the easiest way I can put it."
Sexson, who is in the final year of his contract, has driven in just 21 runs in what the Mariners had hoped would be a rebound season.
"There's no one trying harder than Richie. ... He's battling hard," McLaren said. "He's having his struggles like a lot of the rest of us on this ballclub are. He needs to keep himself going, keep working hard. Hopefully, the cream will rise to the top."
Baek trade expected
The Mariners are expected to announce today that pitcher Cha Seung Baek, designated for assignment last week, has been traded to the San Diego Padres for reliever Jared Wells.
The right-handed Wells, who has given up two earned runs in three innings in a brief stint with the Padres, will likely join Class AAA Tacoma.
• The Mariners held infield and outfield drills before batting practice for about 15 minutes. Teams used to do this every day, but somewhere along the line it stopped happening. It may be slowly coming back — the Royals, Rays and Rangers are all doing infield.
"You know what? I'm just changing the routine," McLaren said. "We've actually been fielding the ball really well. I'm just trying to change the routine up, maybe give a little spring training theme. I'm trying to break the monotony a little bit."
McLaren said he was even thinking about reviving the "American Idol" competition from spring training to lift morale.
"We need a laugh," he said. "A dancer, or something. Something just to break things up."
When he was coaching in Toronto, McLaren said, the Blue Jays once brought a stripper to the clubhouse during a slump.
"It got mixed reviews," he said. "Some of the guys that are pretty close to the Lord weren't too happy."
For the record
|M's W-L||W PCT|
vs. AL West: 10-11
vs. L.A.: 3-3
vs. Oakland: 3-2
vs. Texas: 4-6
vs. AL East: 4-14
vs. AL Central: 3-8
vs. NL: 2-1
vs. LHP: 4-10
vs. RHP: 15-24
Extra innings: 2-2
Tuesday's crowd: 30,758
Season total: 716,745
Biggest crowd: 46,334 (March 31)
Smallest crowd: 15,818 (May 6)
Average (26 dates): 27,567
2007 average (26 dates): 29,718
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
UPDATE - 8:27 PM
Catcher Gregg Zaun retires after 16 seasons
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