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7/24: Open Game Thread

NOTE: Vernon Wells has been scratched from the Toronto lineup but I don't feel like changing it here.

First Pitch: 7:05pm PDT


Johnson RF Ichiro RF Catalanotto LF Bloomquist 2B Wells CF Beltre 3B Glaus 3B Ibanez LF Overbay 1B Sexson 1B Zaun DH Everett "DH" Molina C Johjima C Hill 2B Betancourt SS McDonald SS Jones CF ---------- ----------

Janssen (6-9, 4.77)         Pineiro (6-8, 5.79)

Since there's nothing interesting to say about tonight's game (Pineiro blows, Janssen kinda does too), I'll just go ahead and mention a few of the things that've come up recently:

-in a vacuum, a trade for Todd Walker isn't such a bad idea. He'd come cheap, he'd push Carl out of the lineup (if not off the roster entirely), and his experience at second base would give the team a little extra flexibility in case Jose Lopez's wife gets pregnant again really really quick. The problem is that there's this Snelling guy in AAA who really deserves a job in the big leagues, and is incapable of playing anywhere other than DH. If this rumor has legs, it has to be because the front office has little faith in Snelling staying healthy for the rest of the summer, so they're looking at Walker as a necessary alternative.

-yes, I'm concerned about Rafael Soriano's shoulder, but no, I'm not ready to assume the worst. While it's become standard practice to expect every little ache and pain in a Mariner pitcher to require a complicated surgical treatment, keep in mind that Soriano has already thrown 51.1 innings this year after throwing 46.2 over the previous two seasons combined. His shoulder is probably fatigued - no more, no less (NOTE: I am not a medical professional, so don't take my word for it). Hargrove is doing the right thing by proceeding with caution and treating him with kid gloves, because Soriano's a big part of the team's future, and pushing him to pitch with a tired shoulder is only going to increase the likelihood of him breaking down completely (again). Seriously, thank heavens for the emergence of Mark Lowe.

-of the Mariners' last 14 losses, nine of them have been by one or two runs, five of them in extra innings. I won't say anything about Mike Hargrove here because it's nothing you haven't heard several times before.

-if the front office actually gets the opportunity to unload Adrian Beltre's contract on someone else, they need to seize it without thinking twice. Not because I think he's a bad player - his road numbers would suggest the exact opposite - but because, as Dave has been hinting at lately, he's just an awful fit for this ballpark, and you can't pay this much money to someone who only shows up for 81 games a year. I like him and I want him to succeed more than pretty much anyone else in the organization, but barring some sort of spectacular turnaround in home games I just feel like the team could be better putting that money somewhere else.