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<  Shannon Drayer

Mariners notebook: Willie Bloomquist's season could be over

When Willie Bloomquist was put on the 15-day disabled list on July 23 with a knee contusion, there seemed to be little concern that he would be out much longer than that.

"Knee contusion" sounded harmless enough, but the knee has been slow to heal and after few examinations and one second opinion, the team has announced that Bloomquist will undergo arthroscopic surgery Friday. More information, including projected time of recovery, will be available following the surgery, but it is safe to assume his season is over.

Bloomquist spoke with the media before he received the news and his words seemed to indicate that he had a good idea that this is indeed the case.

"It's awful frustrating due to the fact of the position we are in as a team, the fact that I was finally starting to feel pretty decent at the plate, swinging the bat pretty well," he said. "More than anything, though, this is the situation I had always hoped for in a Mariners uniform, being in a pennant race, coming down to the stretch run and being a big part of this.

"The fact that that rug has kind of been pulled out from under me personally is frustrating, but I also feel I have an obligation to my teammates to be on the field if I can and right now I just can't. So in a sense I feel like I am letting them down a little bit, but on the other hand I am not going to sit here and let my sorrows bring what's going on down because we have got a good thing going on. Try to be positive, try to help these guys along and if I see something that can help out, speak my opinion. There's ways you can be positive and still help this team win even in the situation I am in. That's what I will try to do."

A tough blow for Bloomquist, who has had both knees scoped in the past and five years ago underwent microsurgery on his left knee.

Lineup!

Austin Jackson, 8
Dustin Ackley, 7
Robinson Cano, 4
Kendrys Morales, DH
Kyle Seager, 5
Logan Morrison, 3
Mike Zunino, 2
Endy Chavez, 9
Chris Taylor, 6

Roenis Elias

Notes

Michael Saunders has been sent out on his rehab assignment and is in the lineup for the Rainiers tonight, leading off as the designated hitter. He is expected to play five or six innings in his first game.

• Manager Lloyd McClendon still hasn't announced the starter for Sunday, but today he said he would prefer not to have a bullpen start. That would appear to leave Erasmo Ramirez and Taijuan Walker as candidates, but with Ramirez on the hill for Tacoma tonight, unless he just pitches a few innings it would appear that the list is down to one.

• With Bloomquist most likely done for the year, the 25-man roster is without a true utility player. Brad Miller has been getting more work at second and third and also said today that he would be all for making a start in left field if needed. The last time he played left field was in high-school select ball. Nick Franklin was on that team as well and also played some outfield.

• Infield coach Chris Woodward is coaching first base tonight as Andy Van Slyke is dealing with knee problems of his own. According to McClendon, Van Slyke felt a pop in his knee while throwing in the cages.

"He heard something pop in there and that's never a good thing. It's called old age," McClendon said.

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