Lee hearing tomorrow

The long-awaited debut of left-hander Cliff Lee just might occur before the end of this month.

he had another impressive bullpen session this afternoon and is scheduled to pitch a three or four inning simulated game on Friday before the series opener against the Tigers.

If all goes well in that outing at Safeco Field, club officials will huddle and decide whether to have another sim game or send the left-hander out for a start in the Minor Leagues.

Manager Don Wakamatsu said during his pre-game media session today that it the best-case scenario would have Lee making his Mariners debut the final few days of April or the first couple of days on May.

The exact date also hinges on the outcome of Lee’s appeal of a five-game suspension he received in March for throwing a pitch over the head of Diamondbacks catcher Chris Snyder during a Cactus League game in Tucson.

The once-postponed hearing via conference call is scheduled to be heard tomorrow and a decision could come as early as Thursday or Friday. It is likely that Lee would be suspended for a few games, but possibly fewer than five.

In other pre-game news, the team had a pre-game meeting in the clubhouse and the message Wakamatsu wanted to get across was for the players to relax and have some fun.

The hitters — except for center fielder Franklin Gutierrez — are wound tight and pressing so much that they can’t perform to their capabilities.

The result is a 2-6 record coming out of the gates.

The Mariners slow start made them a prime target for at least one unemployed hitter.

To the surprise of no one, an agent is attempting to spur interest in his client, in this case Jermaine Dye.

Bob Bry,Dye’s agent, told a Seattle radio station today that the Mariners were Dye’s choice all off-season long and now he really, really, really wants to play for Seattle.

The agent said his client was disappointed that the Mariners didn’t show more interest in him. I doubt very much that there is any more interest in Dye right now than there was months ago.

And now for tonight’s lineup:

1. Ichiro, RF
2. Chone Figgins, 2B
3. Franklin Gutierrez, CF
4. Jose Lopez, 3B
5. Mike Sweeney, DH
6. Milton Bradley, LF
7. Casey Kotchman, 1B
8. Rob Johnson, C
9. Jack Wilson, SS
RHP Doug Fister

— Jim Street

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