Manager Lloyd McClendon announced his probable starters for the series vs. the Rangers following Thursday’s off/travel day
- Friday — James Paxton
- Saturday — Vidal Nuno
- Sunday — Felix Hernandez
- Monday — off day
- Tuesday — Roenis Elias
That means Taijuan Walker is having his next start skipped, which isn’t a surprise. He’s thrown 169 2/3 innings this season.
“He will not make his next start,” McClendon said. “I’m not sure when he will start again. We will reevaluate after the days off and see where we are from there.”
But will he make another start before the end of the season?
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“I didn’t say that,” McClendon said. “I said he will not make his next start, we’ll reevaluate after the days off and go from there.”
By starting Paxton on Friday, the Mariners will be able to start him a total of four times before the season ends – provided he stays healthy.
“We are trying to get him out there as much as we possibly can,” McClendon said. “You are counting right.”
Elias will pitch out of the bullpen the next few days and then make that start in Kansas City to open the series.
*** Asked if he’s comfortable with Tom Wilhelmsen being the closer for next season, McClendon said that he would go that way.
“If you put a gun to my head, I’d say yes,” McClendon said. “He’s done a very nice job. I’ve been very impressed with how he goes about his business. He’s really slowed the games down. He’s done a nice job. I wouldn’t have any trepidation at all.”
*** Shawn O’Malley has a knot on the side of head after getting struck by an errant throw from the Angels on Monday night. He said he should be able to play if needed. But that’s not what kept him out of the lineup today.
“He’s not an every-day player,” McClendon said. “I don’t want anyone to think O’Malley is the second coming of Vince Coleman or somebody like that. Look, he’s doing a nice job, but he’s a good utility guy. He got hit in the jaw and he’s a little sore. But that’s not why he’s getting the day off. He could’ve been completely healthy and he’d still be sitting on the bench.”
*** McClendon is hoping that Nelson Cruz will be ready to play in the outfield sometime this weekend in Texas.
“Because he can get out there, then I can get Robbie (Cano) into the DH role for a day off,” McClendon said. “We’ll see.”
*** Mike Zunino and Chris Taylor reported to the Mariners’ spring training complex in Peoria on Monday. They did their first workout with Cory Snyder today. It was mostly tee work to start the process of reworking their swings. They are not officially listed on the Mariners’ instructional league roster. But they can appear in games if/when they want to. Acting GM Jeff Kingston said neither Zunino nor Taylor will be forced to participate in games, particularly if they aren’t ready to go into games with the changes they are working. The goal is for them to be comfortable with the changes first.
The instructional league games are much like minor league or B games in spring training, meaning Taylor and Zunino could bat every inning if they want to. So if/when they do get into games, they will likely play the first five or six innings, getting at-bats each inning.
Here’s my weekly hit on Mitch in the Morning.
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Mariners numbers vs. Nick Tropeano
Angels numbers vs. Felix Hernandez