NEW YORK -- Mariners rookie catcher Jesus Montero was the center of much attention prior to Friday's series opener with the Yankees, as he returned for the first time to the city where he came up as one of baseball's premier prospects.
Montero, 22, tried to limit the media crush, but he still had several rounds of interviews with groups of reporters interested in the young player who had been dealt for pitcher Michael Pineda in the four-player trade in January.
"It's fine," Montero said. "They want to talk to me, and I just need to have a little fun with it. It's really nice being here. I have a lot of good memories from Yankee Stadium. This was my first team that I came up with, and I'm really happy to be here."
Montero went 1-for-4 with a home run on Friday and played well behind the plate. He'll start once more at catcher during the remaining two games in New York this weekend, manager Eric Wedge said. As for being the center of attention?
"It's a good experience for him," said Wedge. "It comes with the territory. When you have expectations and come from a market and then come back to a market like this, you've got to handle it. You've got to keep it in front of you, you can't get caught up in it. But most importantly, you've always got to keep your job first and foremost, and monitor your time that way and keep your mind on point."
New York writers were curious if Wedge was skeptical about Montero's ability behind the plate based on pre-trade reports in the high-profile deal.
"I wasn't because I'd seen him on tape," Wedge said. "Things take on a life of their own. Nobody has been able to answer where that whole 'he may not be able to catch' came from. If I had to guess, it was probably from you guys.
"Somebody started it somewhere, but I believe my eyes and what I see and so do our coaches. And we believe in the kid. The most important thing is, you just can't rush him. He's 22 years old. There's a lot of demand with that position, and you have to respect that."
Hector Noesi, the right-handed pitcher acquired by Seattle in the same deal, will start Saturday's 1:05 p.m. PT game against the Yankees.
Beavan's next start pushed back to Tuesday
NEW YORK -- Mariners right-hander Blake Beavan's next start has been pushed back two days to Tuesday in Boston because of a bruised elbow from a hard line drive off the bat of the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera on Monday.
Kevin Millwood will move up a day and pitch against the Yankees in Beavan's normal spot on Sunday, with Jason Vargas also bumped up a day to face Boston on Monday at Fenway Park. Both veteran starters will remain on their normal four days of rest, since the Mariners had a day off on Thursday when they traveled to New York.
"Blake's feeling pretty good, so we'll probably have him throw a light [bullpen session] on Sunday and he'll be good to go on Tuesday," said manager Eric Wedge. "It's good news, all things considered. We lucked out with that off-day. We haven't had many off-days, but that came at a good time, so we can bring those other two guys back and be ready to go."
Beavan played some light catch before Friday night's series opener against the Yankees, the first time he's thrown since Cabrera's bolt knocked him out in the third inning of Monday's game.
"I've been wanting to throw for a couple days now, but it's smart to just let me get some rest," he said. "You don't want to push it and then wish you'd waited another day or two."
Beavan has never pitched in Yankee Stadium, but he noted he'll have more opportunities down the road. The Mariners return to New York for three games in August. More important at this point is getting his elbow to full strength before his next start.
His range of motion has returned fully, and he figures he's ready to go as soon as he gets the go-ahead from the trainers.
"I think anybody would tell you they're ready to pitch when it's their day," Beavan said. "But the ultimate decision isn't up to me. I'll just tell them how I feel, and they'll tell me when it's my time to pitch again.
"It's still tender when you feel it, since it was right on the bone. But it's definitely 150 million times better than it felt three days ago."
Beavan, 23, is 1-3 with a 4.32 ERA in six starts in his first full season in the Majors.
Olivo won't return to Mariners on road trip
NEW YORK -- Catcher Miguel Olivo remained behind in Seattle to work on his strained right groin muscle and won't come off the 15-day disabled list until sometime after the current 10-game road trip ends, manager Eric Wedge said Friday.
Olivo is eligible to return by Wednesday, but Wedge indicated he likely won't begin a Minor League rehab assignment until the club gets home on May 21.
"He'll probably go down to [Triple-A] Tacoma, catch a bullpen or two and get a little work there," Wedge said. "We'll just keep taking it day by day as we work through it. More than likely, we'll run through this road trip, take a first-hand look at him when we get back and then get him out on a rehab [assignment]. But there's always a chance he might fly through things and we can get him out earlier than that."
Olivo originally felt he might miss considerable time when he went down with the injury on April 30 at Tampa Bay, but he's been able to begin running, throwing, hitting in the cage and even blocking balls in drills in recent days.
"He's come back pretty quick," Wedge said. "He's done a little bit of everything, albeit short -- not a great sample size."
• Friday's game was the start of a 10-day, 10-game, four-city road trip that will conclude with the start of Interleague Play in Colorado. But the Mariners are used to being the road team. They began this season in Japan and will have played 28 of their first 43 games away from Safeco Field by the time this trip ends.
• The Mariners' bullpen had the lowest ERA in the Majors in May at 1.16 heading into Friday's game with three earned runs in 23 1/3 innings. The Reds were second at 1.37. Opponents have hit .125 (10-for-80) in that nine-game span.
• Heading into Friday's game, Ichiro Suzuki needed one hit to move into a tie with Frank Thomas for 99th place on MLB's all-time hits list at 2,467. Joe Medwick is next up at 2,471, while Ted Simmons -- now a special advisor to Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik -- is in 97th place at 2,472.