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The Mariners Are Changing


Isn't it interesting? Tonight we rooted for a Mariners team consisting of 25 guys. Tomorrow we will root for a Mariners team consisting of 25 guys, four of whom will be different. We will root just the same nonetheless. If you really like a casserole, and then somebody goes and changes four things in the casserole, you will not like it exactly the same. You might like it more, or you will probably like it a lot less. So it is not with sports. What do you mean Seinfeld already covered this? What do you mean my Firefox dictionary recognizes the name "Seinfeld"? Let's try "Hedberg". Nope. Shoot. You have terrible taste in humor, Firefox.

So anyway, the Mariners lost to the Padres tonight, with Felix pitching poorly in his first start in a little while. For eight and a half innings, this game was dreary, and even though the bottom of the ninth breathed life into things, it only ended on a bummer note. After games like this, I usually think, "crap, now what in the hell am I supposed to write about?" So thank the good lord for transactions! The Mariners are making roster transactions, which you guys care about more than the game, allowing me to write less about the game. Let's get to them transactions!

If you watched tonight, or if you didn't, it appeared that Stephen Pryor hurt his groin attempting to cover first base. When ROOT Sports aired a replay, Dan Wilson remarked that it looked like Pryor was holding his groin, which is a more family-friendly way of saying it looked like Pryor was touching his penis. There's no official word on Pryor right now and he'll be examined tomorrow, but it's basically a foregone conclusion that he's going on the disabled list. First win, first no-hitter, and first DL stint, all within days! Stephen Pryor is experiencing the big-league peaks and the big-league valleys!

Additionally, Mike Carp has been having some discomfort in the shoulder he originally hurt in Japan, so it looks like he's going on the disabled list, too. Carp has not homered since May 20th and since then he's gone 6-for-39, so one wonders how long this has been going on. Carp will get a break, and the team won't miss his performance, but it will miss his jokes? No, I made that up, I don't know.

Still going. After the Mariners lost, Blake Beavan and Alex Liddi were seen exchanging hugs, not with one another but with the rest of the guys in the clubhouse. They are off to Tacoma, and are not being packaged in a trade for Ryan Zimmerman like somebody might have guessed on a message board in case message boards still work like they did ten years ago. Liddi simply wasn't getting playing time up here, and when he was he's been struggling. Beavan needs to work on his secondary stuff, which is another way of saying Beavan needs to work on his pitching, which is another way of saying Beavan needs to work on being better. Beavan will report to Tacoma and try to get better.

So, the returns! First and foremost, it looks like Erasmo Ramirez is coming up. He's been stretched out, making seven starts with the Rainiers, most recently last Friday. You could see him slide into Kevin Millwood's place on Thursday, with Millwood getting a few extra days to recover. The joyless will state that the Mariners are replacing one contact righty with another in the rotation, but Ramirez has better stuff than Beavan does, and he's also like a foot shorter in real life which makes him more likable even though all else being equal it would make him worse. We've seen Ramirez perform bullpen work, but he's meant to be a starter so now we'll see how he does doing that. He's been good with Tacoma, outside of one appearance where he was not good and that's all that needs to be said about that.

It also looks like Franklin Gutierrez is coming up. Gutierrez is on a rehab assignment, and he's played in ten games, and while his numbers aren't eye-popping, you don't usually care about small-sample numbers during a minor-league rehab assignment. Gutierrez's defense is where it ought to be, his body is where it ought to be, and he'll shake off the rust in time. Remember, if he struggles at first, we can blame it on rust. If he continues to struggle after that, then that's when we get sad. I would expect Gutierrez to bump Michael Saunders to left field when he plays, which should be often, which should mean fantastic things for the pitching staff.

So that's four guys going away, and two guys coming up. We need two more guys to come up, one of them being a reliever and one of them being a bench bat. The easiest options would be Steve Delabar and Casper Wells. Alternate options would be Chance Ruffin and Carlos Peguero, but Ruffin has been bad and they probably want Peguero to play more often than he would in Seattle. Delabar probably hasn't had enough time to straighten out what they wanted him to straighten out, but a need is a need. The Mariners have already established that they don't mind sitting Wells on the bench, so he's an easy plug.

None of this is official right now. I don't remember if I already said that. Pryor might not need to go on the DL, if his groin muscle whispers sweet nothings in the MRI tube's ear. The call-ups are speculation. But it's looking like we know what the Mariners will announce tomorrow, and I don't know about you but I'm ready to believe in Franklin Gutierrez again. A healthy and effective Guti, combined with the astonishing Michael Saunders, makes the long-term outfield picture look a lot more appealing. Not that, you know, that's guaranteed. Or even likely. But if we're going to challenge beliefs with logic then we'll never believe in anything! That isn't logical. Hey wait