Doug Miller here, filling in for Jim with a few updates on a lazy afternoon in Peoria before a night game in Goodyear, straight from skipper Don Wakamatsu:
- As of 2 p.m. PT on Friday, Wakamatsu said the last he heard about Cliff Lee’s upcoming appeal of the five-game suspension was that Lee and his agent were “in the process” of getting it done. Wak said the situation is “kind of a mess right now.” First off, the suspension, even if it’s reduced, virtually eliminates the possibility of carrying an 11-man pitching staff into Opening Day. “That might change now,” Wakamatsu said. “Obviously, if he’s suspended and misses a start, we’ll have a 24-man roster.”
- Don’t think that necessarily means the Mariners won’t take Mike Sweeney with them to Oakland on April 6, though. Ryan Garko has Minor League options remaining and Wakamatsu said Sweeney’s lack of playing time at first base this spring wouldn’t necessarily rule him out for a roster spot. In the meantime, Wakamatsu said of pitching coach Rick Adair, “He’s got a waste can filled with crumpled-up paper.”
- Starter Erik Bedard told me he felt great and that he was still very much on schedule to pitch his first bullpen session next Tuesday. He was scheduled to throw off flat ground from 60 to 90 feet on Friday.
- With each passing day in the desert, it looks more likely that right-handed reliver Kanekoa Texeira will make the team. The Rule 5 draft pick from the Yankees was mentioned by Wak as being one of the most pleasant surprises of camp, and the Mariners will have to keep him on the 25-man roster all year or he’ll be eligible to be returned to the Yankees for $25,000.
- The schedule for infielder Jack Hannahan (groin) is to take batting practice Friday and Saturday and have him test the groin in running drills Sunday. On Friday, Wakamatsu said of Hannahan, “I still think he’s a ways away.”
- Lefty Garrett Olson is still experiencing soreness in his middle finger after taking a ground ball off the digit during drills and should be out of action for at least a few more days.
- Wakamatsu said the club would probably make the next round of cuts Tuesday or Wednesday.