Updated Jun 3, 2012 - 12:05 pm
Sunday in Chicago, Felix start in question
By Shannon Drayer
Only in Chicago. Seriously. It feels like every day is throwback day here and I am not sure if it is intentional or not. I grew up about 130 miles south of Chicago and every game at US Cellular is like a flashback to my youth. The music they play here every night is the same music I listened to on the school bus radio which was always set to the legendary WLS "The Rock of Chicago." An AM rock station if you can believe it. Mullet night coming up June 22. Hopefully they don't try to blow up any records.
So we will leave Chicago with our Carlton Fisk giveaway statues, our Southpaw Mini Plush Paws and questions about the Mariners Wednesday starter. Felix Hernandez tweaked his back in Friday's start and remains a question mark for Wednesday. He has been taking treatment the last two days and looked a better when I saw him today than the day before where he was moving gingerly. Eric Wedge said that tomorrow will be a big day for Felix so we should know more then. Without an off day before Wednesday Wedge cannot juggle the rotation so I would expect Hisashi Iwakuma to make the start if Felix can't.
It has been a big week for Iwakuma who has picked up not one but two saves. Saturday's save was a little more stressful as he had just a two run lead to deal with rather than the 12 run lead he was handed in Texas. Wedge said he could possibly be available today but I doubt you will see that.
As for the rest of the pen, Wedge will stay away from League and Wilhelmsen today. Kelley is available after a day off yesterday so they should be ok if they need to go to the pen.
I like what Wedge has been doing with League to try and get him back to form. He and Carl Willis want him to mix his pitches more. He had become too predictable with his fastball and in Wedge's words he wants Brandon to "pitch" more. To that end League has been throwing more of his sinker and slider and has at times been starting hitters out with those pitches. In an effort to maximize his last two outings Wedge has had him pitch in multiple innings. He wants him to have two opportunities to go out and start against a hitter. In the ninth inning you have one shot at that first hitter. Pitching in multiple innings earlier in the game gives him that look twice. Kind of a double your bang for your buck and this should help get League back sooner and hopefully build some value for him as the trade deadline approaches.
News and notes...Anaheim has juggled it's rotation and as a result the Mariners will not face Dan Haren when they are there. Ervin Santana, Garrett Richards and Jerome Williams will make starts against the M's...Franklin Gutierrez checked out of his first rehab start ok going 0x3 with 2 walks and a strikeout as the designated hitter. He is scheduled to play 7 in the field this afternoon...Believe it or not, with last night's game the Mariners now lead the AL in home runs on the road with 39. Of course the M's have played more games on the road than any other team but they come in 5th in home runs per game at 1.18.
Final note...Too much name calling in the comments. Aside from the obvious, I am not a big fan of calling others idiots or morons. Cut it out. Please.
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