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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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March 10, 2009 4:31 PM

Wakamatsu on Brandon Morrow

Posted by Larry Stone

The game was pretty lackluster, the Mariners losing 8-1 and managing just six hits against the Cubs while giving up 16. Two closer candidates got beat up: Miguel Batista (one inning, 3 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, 1 wild pitch), and Mark Lowe (2/3 of an inning, four hits, three runs, one walk). Shawn Kelley again caught manager Don Wakamatsu's eye, striking out three in 1 1/3 innings.

"His stuff is outstanding. Very impressive,'' Wakamatsu said.

The manager said that Brandon Morrow is being shut down indefinitely until his forearm feels better. But Wakamatsu said the club still feels it's not a major injury and that there's time for Morrow to be ready to be in the rotation at the start of the season. Here are the quotes:

"The forearm issue he had before is still there. They still don't think it's a great concern, but what we're going to do right now is let it rest. We still have a little bit of time, and instead of trying to have him do what he did this time, make sure it's out of there before he throws another bullpen. But it's not in the joint. It's in the forearm area, which is encouraging. But we're going to take our time with it."

On whether there's still time for Morrow to be ready to start the season: "We talked the other day about him being in the back end (of the rotation). It's going to be tight, but we still think we have some time. It depends on how fast he comes back from this. We'll just see where he's at. Another week or a week and a half and he's no further along, there's going to be some concerns."

If Morrow is not ready to start the season, Ryan Rowland-Smith would be the obvious candidate to assume his spot in the rotation, along with Felix Hernandez, Erik Bedard, Jarrod Washburn and Carlos Silva. Garrett Olson, who worked three scoreless innings today before giving up two runs in the fourth, is another candidate.

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