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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 27, 2009 12:50 PM

Tyler Johnson won't break camp

Posted by Geoff Baker

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Turns out there's a reason Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu hinted yesterday that the Mariners might start the year without a situational lefthander. The main candidate for that job, Tyler Johnson, had a scheduled simulated game scratched earlier today. The team wants to take it slowly with Johnson, who is coming back from shoulder surgery.

So, I asked Johnson the obvious question. Will he be ready to break camp with the team?

"Realistically, I could,'' he said. "Are they going to let me? No. It's just not smart.''

Johnson says his goal is to be ready to finish a season once he starts it. Not go in for a few April outings and get sidelined on the DL.

"There's nothing I can do about it,'' he said. "This is just something I'm going to have to do if I want to realize my goal of finishing the year.''

So, that leaves Cesar Jimenez and he hasn't looked good. For now, it looks like the team won't have a situational lefty to start the year. Ryan Rowland-Smith threw a bullpen session today, then headed off to a dental appointment. Wakamatsu said, when we asked, that he envisions RRS in a starting or long relief role. Not as a situational lefty. This bullpen could have an interesting look to it.

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