Notebook | M's Weaver not going on rehab assignment
Mariners pitcher Jeff Weaver will get his way and be reinserted in the starting rotation as early as next week. Weaver told the team Wednesday...
Seattle Times staff reporter
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Mariners pitcher Jeff Weaver will get his way and be reinserted in the starting rotation as early as next week.
Weaver told the team Wednesday that he would prefer not to go on a minor-league rehabilitation assignment. Instead, he is to throw a bullpen session in Seattle today, another simulated game Sunday, and then will likely go into the rotation when the Mariners travel to San Diego the next weekend.
Mariners manager Mike Hargrove, denying a rift between pitcher and team, insisted Wednesday that he and Weaver are on the same page.
"We talked to Jeff and gave him his options and let him do what he wants to do," said Hargrove, acknowledging that the team could not force the pitcher into a rehab assignment.
Hargrove said the whole reasoning behind a rehab stint would be to get Weaver's pitch count higher. But that differs from what Hargrove said 24 hours earlier.
"He hasn't pitched competitively in three weeks," Hargrove said Tuesday. "It's just to see how he'll do in different game situations."
Today | vs. Texas, 7:05 p.m., FSN | M's RHP Cha Seung Baek (2-2, 4.60) vs. RHP Vicente Padilla (2-7, 5.77).
Friday | vs. Texas, 7:05 p.m., FSN | M's LHP Jarrod Washburn (5-4, 3.22) vs. RHP Kevin Millwood (2-4, 6.62).
Saturday | vs. Texas, 7:05 p.m., FSN | M's RHP Miguel Batista (5-4, 5.72) vs. RHP Kameron Loe (1-4, 6.17).
Sunday | vs. Texas, 1:05 p.m., FSN | M's LHP Ryan Feierabend (0-1, 5.40) vs. RHP Robinson Tejeda (4-5, 5.75).
Monday | vs. Baltimore, 7:05 p.m., FSN | M's RHP Felix Hernandez (3-3, 4.10) vs. LHP Erik Bedard (4-3, 3.67).
The manager backed away from that line Wednesday, saying he wasn't concerned about Weaver's lack of recent competition. It has been Weaver's contention all along that his pitch counts in simulated games were high enough that a rehab assignment was unnecessary.
"I'm more or less recovered and I feel strong," said Weaver, who was 0-6 with a 14.32 earned-run average when put on the disabled list three weeks ago. "My pitch count's already there. It's not like I have to start all over and build back up to it."
Hargrove said Wednesday that Weaver should be able to go about 80-85 pitches once back in the rotation.
The team isn't saying which starter is to be replaced by Weaver, but Class AAA call-up Ryan Feierabend will get at least one more outing, Sunday against the Texas Rangers at Safeco Field.
Although Hargrove insisted that Feierabend was always going to get that start, he was reluctant to confirm it Tuesday pending the outcome of meeting with Weaver.
Lopez's winter work seems to be paying off
Jose Lopez says it's no fluke he has been getting to more balls this season. Lopez entered Wednesday with just one error (on a throw) in his first 45 games and has drawn praise for improving his range.
The All-Star second baseman spent several weeks working on his balance while playing winter ball in his native Venezuela last offseason. One particular shuffle drill had a coach throwing him a rapid series of ground balls to either side that he would have to break for and field, always setting himself right away for the next one.
"We'd use three buckets of balls a day," Lopez said.
He would do about five such practice sessions every week. Lopez admits he was almost a little relieved when he sprained his ankle and had to sit out two months.
"It was nice to have a rest," he said with a smile.
• Mariners 1B Richie Sexson wasn't in the lineup Wednesday, and was replaced by Ben Broussard. Sexson was 0 for 9 with four strikeouts against Angels RHP Jered Weaver, while Broussard was 4 for 9.
• Despite the Mariners playing at .500 or better for much of the season, they aren't drawing much All-Star consideration. The first round of voting showed Ichiro as the only Mariner listed, placing third among outfielders with 362,245. Ichiro extended his hitting streak to a career-high 23 games with a single in the fourth inning.
• After five consecutive days of leading the American League in hitting, the Mariners woke up in second place behind Detroit with a .279 average. Over the past six games, the Mariners had scored 8.5 runs per contest and hit .341 with 28 extra-base hits.
For the record
vs. AL West: 9-9
vs. L.A.: 2-7
vs. Oakland: 4-1
vs. Texas: 3-1
vs. AL East: 7-6
vs. AL Central: 8-7
vs. NL: 1-2
vs. LHP: 9-3
vs. RHP: 16-21
Extra innings: 0-0
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.