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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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April 2, 2008 5:41 PM

Putz update

Posted by Larry Stone

Just got back up to the press box and finished transcribing all my taped interviews. To answer the questions I know you have:

1) No one has been named as the replacement closer. It will be the good, old "closer by committee." I'd suspect that the bulk of the ninth-inning work will go to the three late-inning guys, Mark Lowe, Eric O'Flaherty and Sean Green. Today is the throw day for Miguel Batista, who spent a season as a closer in Toronto, and McLaren didn't rule him out of relief duty. One thing McLaren did say was that he would ride a hot hand, if one emerged.

"We’ll go that route for sure,'' he said. "We’ll see if someone gets hot, and we’ll run with it. We’ll try everything. Opportunity has been big for people over the years. Some people are going to have an opportunity."

2) There is no timetable on J.J.'s return. They have to let the injury quiet down, and then rehab begins. I'm not even going to hazard a guess, because I have no medical expertise, and the Mariners, including trainer Rick Griffin, were adamant about not predicing how long this well take.

That being said, they were very encouraged by the diagnosis, because there was fear yesterday it might be an oblique or soft tissue injury, which traditionally takes a lot longer to heal. Griffin said the doctor who read Putz's MRI termed his inflammation as "mild." And the other good news, Griffin said, was that it was on the de-celerating side (that's a word, right?) of his ribcage, rather than the accelerating side.

Griffin said former Seattle closere Kaz Sasaki had a similar injury. Yes, the infamous "tripping while carrying his luggage up the stairs" incident. Sasaki was out for five weeks, but Griffin said that wasn't really a good comparison because Sasaki broke three ribs.

"It took a lot longer than this is going to take,'' he said.

3) Putz was pretty glum, as you might imagine. He said he felt the pain on the third pitch to Michael Young. "It felt like an ice pick stabbing my side."

But he called the diagnosis "the best of the bad news,'' a fancy way of saying it could have been worse.

4) The bullpen guys were saying all the right things about pulling together to compensate for this loss. We shall see how they weather this storm. it will say a lot about their prospects for this season.

I have some other duties to fulfill, so I'll let you chew on this.

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Posted by Nat

6:06 PM, Apr 02, 2008

It's crunch time! Tonight would be an excellent time for the offense to put up some runs.

Posted by mike

6:12 PM, Apr 02, 2008

sometimes some adversity seems to bring out the best in a team, give them some 95 and griffey getting injured

Posted by Stevo in Oregon

6:15 PM, Apr 02, 2008

That's too bad about JJ. I'm not entirely surprised though. His velocity was down last night and he didn't look comfortable. Here's to a quick recovery.

I also agree with Geoff's post today about RIchie's AB, or supposed AB being the real key to last night's game. Here is a repeat of my post from late last night:

Putz gets a pass on this one obviously. He won't be available tomorrow.

Sexson's 8th inning AB - Dave Sims tried to give him a break by saying it was a great 3-2 slider. IT WAS NOT A SLIDER. IT WAS A FASTBALL way off the plate and low. A major leaguer with a 3-2 count and the bases loaded should be able to lay off that one and take the walk and the lead. I think he's nervous up there and too afraid of failing and therefore, set's himself up for failure. And everyone knows he's going to fail. He's pathetic. Take your money and go away forever.

For those of you who were debating the whole Jimerson/Bloomquist thing, the great TV broadcast didn't mention it, but BOTH Jimerson (for Johjima) and Bloomquist (for Ibanez) pinch ran in the 8th. Obviously, Jimerson wouldn't have been going in on defense anyway since he pinch ran for a catcher. Geoff, tell Blowers he needs to smile every once in awhile.

Other notes: Too many singles (only one extra base hit I believe), too many LOB's, but a good start for Felix. I believe this qualifies as a 'quality start' by Geoff Baker standards. Seven innings and one run. Wilkerson looks bad. Great job Uni and Ich! Seven hits in the nine and one slots!
Boy, the Rangers really tried to give us this one, but I guess we didn't want it. Oh well. We can't get too excited about one early win and one early loss. But as Geoff would say, they are all important and we need to take advantage of the Angels pitching issues early in the season. Go get 'em tomorrow boys!

Posted by wayupwaydown

6:31 PM, Apr 02, 2008

Here is a link to a website that talks about Putz's condition. It sounds like it is possible it could be several weeks. There is no set timetable for recovery, hence Griffen's reluctance to set a timetable.

Posted by scottM

6:32 PM, Apr 02, 2008

Hey FRANKIE. It's only game two and GEOFF's blog already wrote a headline for you!!

How's that for celebrity status?

There will be no ledge leaning if we win the rubber game tonight.

Go M's!

Posted by Pygmalion

6:49 PM, Apr 02, 2008

Re: 1995 M's

That team did not actually play all that well until Griffey returned and hit that ninth innning home run off of John Wetteland. They were 13 games back without Griffey.

A better comparison would be the 1994 team that got stuck playing all its games on the road when the Kingdome tiles began falling and, after a while, got used to it and started to get into the groove of it (until the strike ended the season).

(Moving on in the direction of the absurd, the 1994 team is also a great comp because they won the World Series...sort of. Dave Niehaus et al. put together a fake broadcast of Game 7 of the World Series between the M's and the Braves scheduled during the week the Series ought to have occurred, and - the M's won! Wow! Too bad they don't count it huh? But they wouldn't be the first championship team to win lots of games on the road; Notre Dame once won a national championship without playing a single home game while the Stadium was under construction. Talk about earning it).

Posted by jujay

6:53 PM, Apr 02, 2008

My guess, Puts is out 3 weeks

Posted by jujay

6:53 PM, Apr 02, 2008


Posted by oregongal

6:54 PM, Apr 02, 2008

Just remember to savor the fact that we're still tied for first. I'm going to assume that'll still be true (or better) in a week. We really need it to be true in a month.

Posted by Batter Up!!!

6:58 PM, Apr 02, 2008

Rhodes & Morrow are not ready. We'd end up with 3 on the DL.

This is exactly why you put every game you can in the Win column when they are handing them to you. The hell with this cavalier it's only game 2 BS!

We score some of the LOB's and JJ stays in the bullpen under the heat lamps. Warm & healthy for when he's needed. Instead we roll him out into the freezer again for a 2nd save against the lowly Rangers because we have no offense.

I think it would be good for Sexson to sit tonight! Put MM on 1st. What he's going to play worse D than Ritchie did last night? Play Sexson on the road away from the Boo Birds & if he isn't hitting and ready for the Angels when they come home send him down. Who's going to claim him???

Go M's!

Posted by mike

7:11 PM, Apr 02, 2008

yea thats true, 94 was a tough year and the mariners sucked it up, sort of put it out of my mind cuz of the lousy ending to it all, what i loved about 95 was how edgar picked it up and just carried the team, how he wasn't the mvp that year is beyond me

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