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Sunday, July 22, 2012 - Page updated at 09:00 p.m.
Olivo warmed up to pitch but he's happy it didn't happen
By Geoff Baker
Seattle Times staff reporter
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Mariners catcher Miguel Olivo admits he was relieved the world didn't find out whether he could get major-league hitters out from the mound.
Olivo was warming up in the bullpen in the 14th inning of Friday night's 4-3 loss for the Mariners at the behest of manager Eric Wedge, who planned to use him had the game made it to the 16th. Wedge knew Olivo had the strongest arm on the team and wanted a veteran on the mound since it wasn't a blowout game and the situation would require some composure.
"I'm glad nobody got to see me pitch," Olivo said before Saturday's game.
Olivo used to pitch as a 15-year-old in the Dominican Republic. He said he threw five pitches in a Class A game once — though no official record of it could immediately be found in an Internet search — and also warmed up in the bullpen for the San Diego Padres in 2005 while playing against Colorado, but never got into the game.
"Just a fastball, that's it," he said. "I just try to throw strikes with a fastball."
Wedge said a multitude of players came to him with suggestions about who should pitch. Casper Wells was recruited by Towson University as a pitcher before getting bored and switching to the outfield.
But Wedge said Wells wasn't considered because of his non-veteran status. It has long been mentioned that Ichiro would like to one day take a shot at pitching in the major leagues.
Said Wedge: "Yeah, that would go over real good if I did that. I mean, put my neck in the guillotine right now. I can't fix it (the team) if I'm not here, you know what I mean?"
• Franklin Gutierrez has been shut down for the remainder of the weekend after continuing to experience headaches after a workout Saturday.
"It's unfortunate, but we were told that there could be some back and forth with this. It's just that type of injury and that's what we're seeing, so some days are better than others," Wedge said.
• Erasmo Ramirez threw a simulated game for the Mariners without incident Saturday. Ramirez is to throw a bullpen session Monday and then will begin a rehabilitation assignment for Class AAA Tacoma on Wednesday if all goes well.
• Ken Griffey Jr. paid a brief visit to his former Mariners team at Tropicana Field before the game. Griffey lives in Orlando and flew to St. Petersburg in his small plane.
• Mariners relief pitcher Stephen Pryor was activated off the 15-day disabled list and optioned to Class AAA.
Geoff Baker: 206-464-8286 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @gbakermariners
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