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<  Shannon Drayer

Mariners notebook: One move and more to come

By Shannon Drayer

The Mariners optioned Erasmo Ramirez to Triple-A Tacoma and recalled Brandon Maurer before Wednesday's game. Maurer will be used out of the bullpen, where he has been since being sent down. There has long been the thought that his stuff would play well in the bullpen and it would appear that it has in Tacoma.

"It gives him less chance to think about things," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "The velocity is up at the Triple-A level, up to 98 out of the bullpen, so it is intriguing."

This most likely will be a short visit as a starter will be needed Monday or Tuesday.

"Our pitching is our foundation, the rock of this team. We have an opportunity to protect it over the next four, five days, so why not?" McClendon said.

More moves could be coming soon as Justin Smoak was eligible to come off the disabled list Wednesday, Michael Saunders on Thursday and Corey Hart at any time. The Rainiers are off Wednesday and Saunders was at Safeco Field working out with the team. I would be surprised if we didn't see him activated Friday. As for Hart and Smoak, it would appear that they will take the trip with the Rainiers to El Paso, Texas.

"The biggest thing for me is to make sure they are healthy, 100 percent, and that with the combination of getting some at-bats, getting sharp, we are going to take full advantage of that (20 games are allowed on a rehab assignment)." McClendon said. "If we think they are healthy enough and ready enough, then they will come here."

Lineup!

Endy Chavez, DH
James Jones, 8
Robinson Cano, 4
Kyle Seager, 5
Logan Morrison, 3
Mike Zunino, 2
Dustin Ackley, 7
Brad Miller, 6
Stefen Romero, 7

Notes

James Paxton threw a 15-pitch flat-ground session before the game, throwing two- and four-seam fastballs and changeups. He will throw a 20-25-pitch bullpen on Friday.

• The Indians have made a change with their pitching that affects this weekend's series against the Mariners. Justin Masterson was originally scheduled to start Sunday against Felix Hernandez. TBA is now the listed starter.

James Jones stole his team-leading 13th base Tuesday night. Michael Saunders led the team last year with 13.

DJ Peterson has yet to make his first start for Double-A Jackson as travel problems did not allow him to join the team until Wednesday. He will be in the Generals' lineup Thursday.

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