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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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June 12, 2008 6:09 PM

Putz update: hyperextended elbow

Posted by Geoff Baker

That's the initial word we've received from the Mariners after J.J. Putz underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam on his right elbow today under the supervision of team medical director Dr. Edward Khalfayan. A hyperextended elbow. It caused what the team is calling "triceps tendon inflammation" and an "irritated ulnar nerve'' but no ligament damage. No damage to the flexor bundle in the elbow either.

Putz will not throw this weekend. He is to be re-evaluated on Monday. That means, for the Washington series at least, Brandon Morrow is the closer.

For those of you writing in taking exception to me saying Carlos Silva has pitched well of late, he's allowed five runs over his last 14 innings. That's pretty good. He threw a seven-inning "quality start" yesterday and went eight innings the start before that. Yes, I'm aware he had a rough first inning last week and fell behind 3-0. But he wouldn't have lasted eight innings -- giving his team a chance to get back in the game -- had he not been pitching well.

I didn't say Silva was Cy Young and better than Felix Hernandez. The point being made (I'll spell it out) was that he was throwing better than Miguel Batista and unlikely to be skipped. When's the last time Batista went eight innings this season? Try never. Erik Bedard? Once. Silva has pitched well of late. Meaning lately. Last week and now. Batista, not so much.

To answer another question, Ryan Rowland-Smith becomes the long guy this weekend. If Putz has to go on the DL -- and we'll know more by Monday -- you can always call up Ryan Feierabend from Class AAA (or Jake Woods, since Feierabend is, as one of you pointed out, hurt) for long relief or a spot start.

On the Derek Zumsteg thing, give the guy a break. A bit of an overreaction, maybe, but Rick Sutcliffe has gotten in trouble on-air before for rambling types of, shall we say, less-than-sharp commentary and it sounded like much of the same to me this time. Not just in words, but the tone of voice. A little too slow and casual. As someone who goes on the airwaves a lot, I can tell you that you can't just flap your gums. You have to have your wits about you and use your brain because one wrong word can haunt you for years.

Trust me, I spent yesterday afternoon meeting John Rocker. It doesn't take many words to hurt a reputation.

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Posted by C-Boyd

6:24 PM, Jun 12, 2008

Fantasy Baseball Update 101.

M's can sweep the Nats, Morrow gets 3 saves.

I'm down with that.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

6:27 PM, Jun 12, 2008

Maybe Putz was trying to lick his boot and extended the elbow. LOL!

I heard Felix had a strained calf also. Not good.

Posted by BrianL

6:32 PM, Jun 12, 2008

Well thank goodness it isn't a ligament tear. I still wouldn't be surprised if Putz landed on the 15-day DL, though.

For the sake of Brandon Morrow, I hope he doesn't get a save opportunity. The last thing he needs is to rack up a few meaningless saves and give management the idea that he should be closing games instead of starting them.

Posted by Drabbones

6:40 PM, Jun 12, 2008

This may not be bad news. Putz has not been his 2007 self all year. A long rest may make the 9th inning more bearable to us all. Batista looked very strong in his one inning relief job and maybe this is the roll for him. If he can take the 8th inning set-up job and throw like he did the other night, this just might work.....if only the offense could come up with more than 2 runs.

Posted by scottM

7:18 PM, Jun 12, 2008

Who's in left?

The bagheads

Who's on the mound

I thought it was Dickey

Who's in charge

No. Who's on the mound

What day is it?

Dickey-head day

Who's in charge.

I thought Bavasi was in charge.

Of Dickey-head day? This is our protective gear.

Protecting you from who?

No, Who's in charge.

Who's Bavasi then?

Bavasi is not in charge. Who is in charge.

Is that why it's Dickey-Head day?

Sorry, I can't see or hear very well through these peep holes. Who's in left?

No, there's no bagheads left.


I don't know. Who told them to charge the mound and Dickey-Headed for the dugout.


Who knows; Who's in charge.

Putz to Morrow in perspective.

Posted by jj

7:21 PM, Jun 12, 2008

Wow, Greg Norton is really lighting it up in Atlanta. Maybe he will get DFA'd and we can reclaim him, haha. Here are his stats..
2008 Atl 31 61 7 12 2 0 2 11 11 12 0 0 .197

.197 ba, awesome

Posted by Walla Walla Girl

7:31 PM, Jun 12, 2008

LOL. So ... Who's on first?!

Posted by Oly Mike

7:43 PM, Jun 12, 2008

Forget all the rhetoric and banter back and forth and who knows more than someone else. With Putz injured now and probably out for awhile there is one thing that is now painfully obvious to everyone at least on this blog (probably not among Mariner management) and that is there is not one part of this pathetic team that does not need to be overhaaled, retooled or completely redone. But what I and perhaps all of you don't know is when and if that is ever going to happen. At least in the forseeable future. Since there is no hope of any 2008 Recovery or workable plan what is hesitation on the behalf Mariner management to actually begin an overhual process? Do they think waiting a few more days or weeks is going to make any difference. The longer they wait to react the worse the situation gets. It is so shameful that the only thing we have isto look forward to Bag Head Day. And I still hate the Captcha!!!!

Posted by OC Jeff

7:47 PM, Jun 12, 2008

Wait, I thought Hu was sent down to AAA Las Vegas.

Posted by scottM

7:49 PM, Jun 12, 2008

You should know that Walla Walla Girl.

Richie Sexson is on first. We all know Why, but Who will replace him.

Posted by stevo in oregon

7:56 PM, Jun 12, 2008

Has anyone posted the link to this article yet? Pretty much matches what we've all been saying. A mess.

Posted by Two Headed Calf

8:21 PM, Jun 12, 2008

Adam is a sissy = panty waist, he will report you.

Posted by Adam

8:24 PM, Jun 12, 2008

Two Headed Cailf @ 8:21, I am going to report you.

Posted by Sounders

8:33 PM, Jun 12, 2008

Oly Mike,

I'm not concerned that they haven't made any more moves. I'll be concerned if they start making them actually, with Bavasi in charge. I'm hoping that Howie and Chuckie get canned first, before they do anything else. Short of that, Bavasi. That clown cannot be allowed to do anything anymore, except maybe sell peanuts.

So cross your fingers. The downhill slide that's been going on since Lou and Gillick left could be coming to an end. This year we could possibly see the beginning of a new era in Mariner baseball. We'll see if ownership has the stones to take some action. We can only hope. And wear Bags.

Posted by scrapiron

8:40 PM, Jun 12, 2008

Ex-Mariner updates:

Ben Broussard signed with the Cubs today.

Jeff Weaver was released by the Brewers.

Greg Norton is not hitting well with the Braves.

Who said our bench players do good when they leave the Mariners?

Posted by sjazzdude

9:35 PM, Jun 12, 2008

"Jamie Moyer was again masterful, and improved his record against the Marlins to 9-0, with a 3.03 ERA -- in nine starts. All nine of his starts have come since Moyer joined the Phillies midway through the 2006 season."

I am so confused. Why did Bavasi trade him???

Posted by M's Fan

9:38 PM, Jun 12, 2008

Norton may not be "hitting well" but he has superior numbers to the players that were kept instead. Also saw him on baseball tonight's "web gems" for the 2nd time in 2 weeks last night. Can't recall seeing a Mariner on there since......? I don't think anyone complained when Weaver was not re-signed. My .02

Posted by Bruce P

9:46 PM, Jun 12, 2008


How can you not love a team with Little Slappy as the leadoff hitter and Big Slappy at first base?

Why worry about pitching?

Posted by Bagheads Unite

9:49 PM, Jun 12, 2008

Baghead Day cometh. Get your brown paper bags ready to show support for our cellar dweller product provided by an inept Front Office.

Posted by BrianL

10:08 PM, Jun 12, 2008

sjazzdude - I believe Moyer asked for a trade.

Posted by BrianL

10:20 PM, Jun 12, 2008

John Rocker, huh? That had to be...interesting.

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

10:23 PM, Jun 12, 2008

Re. BagHead Day, I'm very hopeful that the Save Our Sonics Rally on Monday at 4:00p draws a big crowd - KJR has been really hyping the rally as a major part of Clay Bennett's case is that nobody in Seattle cares about his product. If the rally is a success, it can hopefully be a springboard to get fans on-board for the BagHead Day fan protest as it is about the only organized forum that can get our ownership's attention. One would hope that the drop of several million $ in his soon-to-be-awarded radio contract would also get some attention from Mr. Yamauchi. I would be satisfied with either Lincoln or Armstrong being dumped along with Bavasi however I think Lincoln is still looked upon favorably because the team has been making money every year - Armstrong may be a different case because he is in charge of the baseball operations side which is becoming a perpetual loser.

Posted by Blair

10:26 PM, Jun 12, 2008 is offering a chance to rank all 30 managers in the game 1-30. Guess who is ranked dead last (by a ways)...McLaren. Just don't know what to do with this team.

Posted by M Dogg

10:27 PM, Jun 12, 2008

Regarding Norton's "awesome" .197: It's actually .247, but I'll even take .197 over Bloomquist's .152 and 0 for 5 with 4 SO's last night.

Posted by Oly Mike

10:43 PM, Jun 12, 2008

I know what it is!!! It is a virus or allergy that affects the mental capacity of Management of all Seattle Teams. It is called PoorPlayerEvaluationitis. The lofty experts can't tell who is good, bad and ugly. They just don't know the diference. PoorPlayerEvaluationitis particularly affects the Sonics and Mariners, not so much the Seahawks. That is why Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis are gone on to star elsewhere. A-Rod, Griffey, Moyer, Randy Johnson, Jason Varitek, Derek Lowe, Randy Winn and so on (the good list for the M's is too much to comprehend) But, nevertheless they are gone replaced by the bad & ugly i.e. Weaver, HoRam, Washout, Sexson, Wilkerson etc. this list is also incomprehensible. Maybe it is not the management's fault. Maybe it is the scouts and player evaluation personnel that give bad information because they are afflicted by PoorPlayerEvaluationitis. When they see these losers outside of Seattle they look good and when they see the good players inside Seattle they look bad. Bad climate or tree pollen. Just like Pres. Bush he just got bad information and made bad decisions based on that. I know it is Global Warming!! Every other bad thng is blamed on that. In other parts of the country there are droughts, floods, tornados, heat waves and wildfires. But here in Seattle we are rain-soaked and freezing our butts off. They just can't think straight too much information at the speed of light-Computers you know. No common sense. That must be it why else would we end up with such a load of bad players and send the good ones away.

Posted by Bork

11:11 PM, Jun 12, 2008

This might be good. Putz'll get some time to sit out and think about what's not working, and try to fix that. If nothing else, he'll get a chance to sit out and not blow the rare leads that our batters give us. I like Putz; I hope he figures his stuff out, because when he's on, he's really good.

Posted by Bill

11:15 PM, Jun 12, 2008

Geoff, what did you think of the newest Milton Bradley incident? What the hell prompted that commentator's tangient?

Posted by Chris from Bothell

11:52 PM, Jun 12, 2008

If Putz is going to the DL, why call up another arm when another bat is what's needed? I'd rather see Clement than Feierabend.

Posted by vertigoman

12:27 AM, Jun 13, 2008

Hey Geoff,
I live in L.I.C. off the 7 train. Did Mr. Rocker speak of the D batteries thrown at him at Shea? God, I wished I had Mr. Rockers hillbilly arm that day!
Maybe we should introduce battery day at Safeco?
Here's the chant:

Let's go Bav-as-i
can Mc-lar-en!

Let's Go Arm-strong
sack Bav-as-i!

Let's go Lin-coln
fire Arm-strong!

Let's go Lar-son
sh!t can Lin-coln!

Posted by bammy

12:48 AM, Jun 13, 2008

I'm fine with Morrow in the 9th but I might close my eyes for every 8th inning until Putz returns.

As for the wordsmith from USSM..
Give the guy a break? "A bit of an overreaction" ? Try drunk mental midget ranting. I could care less what Erin Andrews looks like, but the folks at ESPN didn't hire her for her exceptional journalistic abilities. Personally I find her overuse of players nicknames almost as annoying having to scroll past countless posts by the village idiot to read Dave Cameron's pieces. USSM should throw another donation button up to send the guy back to writer's camp.

I must hand it to you Geoff, you show much more class on your blog and have since converted my readership.


Posted by Hustl504

12:58 AM, Jun 13, 2008

It's a good thing we still have Baek to take the LR spot!... Oh wait...

Posted by WallaBlogga

7:03 AM, Jun 13, 2008

I know this is off topic, but how 'bout Jamie last night! He pitched 8 innings of 3-hit shutout ball for the Phils in an important win for the Phillies over the Marlins. The guy's 7-3 now!

I'm from Philadelphia and have watched some bad Phillies teams over the years. I can't help but attribute a lot of the Phillies' recent success to Gillick. This shows the importance of a good GM.

Posted by Ryan

7:08 AM, Jun 13, 2008

This Nationals team is one that we can beat. They hit worse than us. Nothing about them jumps off the page at me, but I have said that before and sseen teams come in here and sweep us. If we happen to get a three game sweep, maybe, just maybe we can build off of that.

Their best offensive player ( Zimmerman) is out too.

Posted by Mr. X

7:23 AM, Jun 13, 2008


But Bammy, he's a published author! One that can't make a point without repeated use of profanity.

Basically, there are two groups of people who would have reacted in such a way to Sutcliffe's comments. The "new castrati", and the mean-faced women with clipped hair. Everyone else understands that he was being complimentary, just not in the smoothest of ways. It might have been a little clumsy, but not everyone can be Billy Dee.

If you really want to hear vitriol towards Erin Andrews, ask a woman what she thinks of her. Especially one with lower than normal self-esteem. The first card out will be the "surgery enhancement" card, and it will go downhill from there. Women are ruthless when it comes to appraising each other. I could give you an example per day from my chatty secretaries, but this is a family blog.

I just can't get excited about facing the Nationals tonight. Since they got rid of "Super Prospect" Chris Snelling, I haven't had any reason to follow them. If we can't take this series, multiple trades should follow.

Posted by macdoubter

8:10 AM, Jun 13, 2008 is offering a chance to rank all 30 managers in the game 1-30. Guess who is ranked dead last (by a ways)...McLaren. Just don't know what to do with this team.

No! I'm shocked!!!

Posted by telly

8:12 AM, Jun 13, 2008

I love this from
Deal-less in Seattle: What's even more terrifying than having the worst record in baseball? How about having a team like that and almost nothing you can deal?

We've been running through the Mariners' trade options with people across the sport. And those options look worse than you'd imagine, considering how many of these same people once thought this was a team that could win the West. Here are some of the topical names -- and the reactions we heard:

Erik Bedard? "Only a different GM could trade him."

Richie Sexson? "Useless."

Adrian Beltre? "For the money [$12M next year], impossible to find a fit."

Carlos Silva? See above.

Jarrod Washburn and Miguel Batista? "I'm not sure you could give them away."

Raul Ibanez? "He's got a lot of value. But he wouldn't get you an elite player. Just a couple of parts."

Jose Lopez? "Ordinary guy. Not as good as his numbers."

Ichiro? "Can't trade him."

J.J. Putz? "They'd never trade him."

Felix Hernandez? "Ha-ha-ha-ha. You're kidding, right?"

In sum, there's no one the Mariners can afford to trade who has significant value -- and no one with value they'd even think about trading. One baseball man's review of this situation: "Hopeless."

"The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades" lol

Posted by macdoubter

8:13 AM, Jun 13, 2008

...Shocked that he was even considered to be a manager at all!

Posted by scottM

9:10 AM, Jun 13, 2008

If we take telly's cut and pasted ESPN post at 8:12 am as indicative of the actual MLB trading climate for the M's, then blowing up this team makes no sense at all.

First, there is a cold, impartial logic that says this M's team is not as good as in '07 and not as bad as it has played in '08. The question, then, is how do we take an "average" team and make it better?

Second, where is there any guarantee that if you unload all your key players, the team will be any better in, say, 2011? No one can say that. The better risk is to build off the strongest pieces from the average team that you have in house.

Third, it is a given that both Sexson and Vidro will be gone. Also the M's need another power outfielder with a good glove. Having one project in Reed or Balentien is OK, but neither is showing himself to be so good, offensively, that this team can afford to go forward with both to anchor your outfield.

Fourth, like last offseason where pitching was targeted, in the upcoming offseason this team needs to target an Outfielder, First Baseman and DH. Succeed at this upgrade of the offense especially, and the entire dynamic of the team could change toward a winning one.

Fifth, unlike in 2008, players like Ichiro and Johjima, especially, need to come to Spring Training ready to play. None of the joking about Ichiro going O-for-Spring-Training when its followed by April and May with him hitting fifty points less then needed. The TEAM needs to come into next season hungry and without its pathetic attitude of entitlement.

Sixth, if I am the management of the M's, this is how I would look at my teams best chance in 2009. Expect more from the players you already have: more plate discipline from Yuni, Beltre, Johjima, more concentration in the field from Lopez and Yuni, a closer that reverts to his form of '07. Pitchers who consistently deliver as starters and relievers.

Seven, this limited makeover will only succeed if the M's bring in a manager who plays the players who are delivering and who flies in the face of the atmosphere of entitlement that's killing this franchise in '08. You keep guys like Norton and Dickey right out of spring training because they EARNED it. You put guys like Washburn or Batista in the bullpen if they don't produce as starters. You sit a guy like Lopez when he lets, yet another grounder, roll under his diving chest. When the Manager EXPECTS to win, the players usually respond. McLaren manages by hoping NOT to lose. There is a difference.

In sum, if the trading stock of the players we have is deflated because of 2008, then this team is better off expecting much more from those core players in 2009. The wild card in this equation is the resolve of the players themselves and whether they truly desire to win or are content in miring in the type of pathetic year we've seen to date.

Posted by chickencoop

9:30 AM, Jun 13, 2008

Countdown to see Chris Tillman in the Majors?

7-1 / 2.78 ERA / 1.21 Whip / 45 hits in 65 IP

When is it too much for Bavasi?

Posted by Matt B

10:09 AM, Jun 13, 2008

Sorry, Geoff, but you can't call up Ryan Feierabend - he's been out for over a month now. Right now, the T-town rotation is a GWB-style mess, with a bunch of chuck and duck guys. You'd probably have to bring in Jake Woods or Sean White for a spot start, which is a long way down.

Posted by Rebecca Tomal

11:17 AM, Jun 13, 2008

I think JJ's pitching problems are all due to him trying to guide the ball instead of just throwing the ball as he did last year which is resulting in the confidence losing grand slam and all the recent walks he's given up. Whether the injury caused the loss of confidence or the loss of confidence is causing the injuries, I don't know, but certainly a professional therapist should be on board with his docs and trainers.

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