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Monday, March 01, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.

Mariners
Notebook: Still cautious, Heaverlo hits the bullpen

By Bob Finnigan
Times staff reporter

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PEORIA, Ariz. — Having passed the test involving his teres major, Jeff Heaverlo is not considering going back for what he called his "teres masters."

The Moses Lake/UW right-hander threw a bullpen session for the first time since hurting the armpit muscle he was told is the teres major.

His humorous play on getting a higher degree was a good indication that his session went well.

"It went well, really smooth, no nicks," said Heaverlo, who was essentially shut down for more than a week. He threw 25 pitches, 20 of them fastballs and five changes and tried for more extension of his arm to avoid aggravating his previous injury.

"They told me it was an uncommon injury," he said. "I didn't even know I had a teres major."

Earlier, Mariners manager Bob Melvin said coaches would have to hold Heaverlo back to prevent him from overdoing his work.

The kid listened.

"I have to restrain myself," Heaverlo said. "I can't go out and get better and better and better and better. Last spring I tried to do too much, and it cost me. You can only do so much and the most important thing is to work within your ability and stay healthy."

Wilson kept out of batting

Dan Wilson was kept out of the live batting after he felt a slight tweak in his left oblique, the muscle he pulled last spring. That time, he missed 28 days and began the season on the disabled list.
 
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"I wouldn't even call it a problem," Melvin said of the catcher. "He felt something slight, and it wasn't inhibiting him from doing anything else. We didn't want him to hit because swinging a bat was the toughest thing for him last year, and we wanted to be sure we didn't get back to that."

Early rotation announced

Melvin announced the starting pitching rotation for the first few Cactus League games. After Gil Meche and Ryan Franklin both work Thursday in the annual charity game against San Diego, Jamie Moyer starts Friday against Arizona, Joel Pineiro starts Saturday, and Freddy Garcia on Sunday, both against San Diego.

With Meche starting the charity game, he and Franklin will both work Monday against Anaheim, with Franklin starting.

Struggling with screen time

Rett Johnson had a rough day with his control while throwing batting practice. But pitching coach Bryan Price pointed out he always does while working from behind a protective screen, trying to make good pitches to teammates.

"He always does that, then is much better when you take away the screen and let him try to get people out in games," Price said.

Note

• Announcer Ron Fairly came to camp and reported his second career ace on Saturday at Desert Horizons, his home course in Indian Wells, Calif.

"Third hole, 196 yards, with a 5-iron," he said. "Good thing I had the $5 hole-in-one insurance, with everyone only too happy to have a drink on me. It would have cost $600."

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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