By Shannon Drayer
They just keep coming. Hector Noesi was packing up his things after the Mariners' 16-inning loss to the White Sox Wednesday. This was hardly a surprise as he threw 69 pitches and would not be available to pitch for a couple of days.
With the back end of the rotation coming up, a long man in the pen will be needed, although don't look now but Aaron Harang has put up a 3.52 ERA with a .216 batting average against his last five starts. A move will need to be made. My best guess that they would want to go with someone on the 40-man roster, so I think Blake Beavan will get the call.
Despite better starting pitching performances of late, the pen has looked a little tired. After pitching in four of the last five games, Tom Wilhelmsen was not available Wednesday. Oliver Perez is not as sharp as he was earlier this season and there has been concern that he had been leaned on a little too much early on. Danny Farquhar has been pushed, too, not so much in outings but in innings within outings. Help is needed.
The bench is even in worse shape with two players who are hurt but not on the disabled list. Sure, Michael Morse was available to pinch hit but how could you use him if he couldn't play in the field? Brandon Bantz was not a pinch-hitting option and that left you with Alex Liddi. We just saw a 16-inning game where not one move was made with a position player. I am not sure that has ever happened before.
The guys will be pushed. The options aren't much better Thursday. Morse is expected back at DH or first base, which will most likely put Raul Ibanez in left. Kelly Shoppach will most likely be back behind the plate after catching 16 innings.
They need guys to get healthy, quick.