Mariners send Vargas to Minors

There was one fewer left-handed pitchers on the field for this morning’s workout.

One day after starting against the Brewers, Jason Vargas was sent to the Minor Leagues.

Vargas, one of the six players acquired from the Mets last December for relievers J.J. Putz, Sean Green and outfielder Jeremy Reed, figures to start the season in Triple-A Tacoma’s rotation.

“We talked to him today and there’s a lot of things that did impress us, like his athleticism and his ability to do some things with the ball,” manager Don Wakamatsu said. “The biggest thing that we talked about was just the consistency, him having time off from the injury last yearr, that he needs to pitch. We see him as a strong starter.”I think for the organization, and for him right now, it’s best that he just goes down there and continues to start.”

Vargas, who pitched five innings on Friday, did his part to give the Mariners defense a chance to work on relay plays from the outfield.

Seattle threw three runners out at the plate.

“I was extremely happy with (the execution),” manager Don Wakamatsu said. “It turned the tide during the game. That’s why we work on things. The first-and-third defense, and the relay throw from Ronny (Cedeno), and how Rob (Johnson) blocked the plate, were great things. I don’t know if we’re going to come out and simulate the bingo numbers, it wasn’t ideal, but those are little things. You’d like to have your starting lineup in there and execute those things too, but it kind of shows some of the younger kids are doing it, too.”

Here is today’s starting lineup against the Athletics:

1. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS.

2. Franklin Gutierrez, CF.

3. Ken Griffey Jr., LF.

4. Mike Sweeney, DH.

5. Jeff Clement, C.

6. Matt Tuiasosopo, 3B.

7. Chris Shelton, 1B.

8. Mike Morse, RF.

9. Reegie Corona, 2B.

P. LH Garrett Olson.

It is the first time Betancourt has batted leadoff this spring. Wonder if he’ll try to bunt for a hit.

— Jim Street





  1. fredpark

    In answer to your question, it would be great to see Yuni begin to slip into the role that is appropriate for the situation. My tongue is not in my cheek.


    Jim, another 2 hits for Shelton. Honestly, what are they going to do? Shelton is what, 5 or 6 years younger than Branyan and Sweeney? They gotta give him real playing time during the regular season. He could be the real deal (and for the long term)…


    Shelton and Tuiasosopo are having great springs. I would be delighted to have them replace Banyon and Beltre on the opening day roster!
    Yuni as leadoff?!? That’s Wak’ed out man. I prefer him at the bottom of the order…

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