SEATTLE -- Rookie reliever Carter Capps unveiled a lot more off-speed pitches in his two-inning stint in Friday's 9-1 loss, a needed development for a youngster who is learning his 100-mph offerings don't always overpower Major League hitters.
Capps threw only three breaking balls out of 39 pitches in his previous outing against the Twins and got rocked for four hits and three runs in the second frame of that two-inning appearance, admitting he got a little "fastball happy."
This time he threw 28 fastballs and 10 off-speed pitches, with better results. He got Albert Pujols to ground out on a curveball and struck out Bobby Wilson on a curve. And the heater was still there, as he whiffed Mike Trout on a 101-mph pitch for one of his four strikeouts.
"I was trying to work on it," the 22-year-old said of his curve. "It felt good. I was throwing it for strikes for the most part and getting it down in the zone, so I was happy with it. It makes your fastball faster, no matter how hard you throw. And if you mix the changeup in there, it just opens up a doorway to other things."
Manager Eric Wedge said it was a good learning experience, particularly after the Angels got to Capps for a quick run.
"They turned around a few fastballs and then he started throwing that breaking ball, and I think he saw that it was a pretty good breaking ball," Wedge said. "He saw the reaction of the hitters and then you see the counter-reaction when he starts throwing fastballs after throwing the breaking ball, and it's a little bit different ballgame then. I was really impressed. I think he learned something."
Capps has a 5.59 ERA in eight appearances but is on the fast track. He pitched just one game in Triple-A after dominating at Double-A Jackson.
"He's learning with each and every outing and he's learning a great deal," Wedge said. "He's doing a nice job."
Saunders likely to take few days off to rest groin
SEATTLE -- Mariners outfielder Michael Saunders was out of the lineup Saturday and will likely miss a few more days after feeling his groin muscle tighten up on him in the fourth inning of Friday's 9-1 loss to the Angels and being removed midgame.
Saunders had sat out the previous six games with a strained right groin and understands now he wasn't quite ready to return after the leg reacted while he was chasing down a line drive down the right-field line by Torii Hunter.
"I honestly don't think there's any setbacks at all," Saunders said prior to Saturday's game. "I thought I was ready and maybe I wasn't quite. It's tough to simulate game situations until you finally get out there and are running down fly balls off the bat.
"I really had to push it there, I felt it and it grabbed me and let me know it wasn't quite ready to be out there every day yet."
Manager Eric Wedge said the team will be cautious with Saunders, not wanting to risk losing him for the rest of the season.
"I think we'll give him a couple days and see how he feels," Wedge said. "He feels all right this morning, it's about where he's been. I'll talk to [trainer Rick Griffin] after he gets checked out and does a little bit of work and go from there.
"As I said last night, sometimes you just don't know until you get out there and it's game speed. He thought he was good, Rick thought he was good, he looked good to me. But obviously, I think we made the right decision getting him out of there."
Peguero, Ramirez added as rosters expand
SEATTLE -- Outfielder Carlos Peguero and right-handed pitcher Erasmo Ramirez were recalled by the Mariners on Saturday as the club took advantage of the ability to expand rosters beyond 25 for the final month of the season.
Peguero gives the team some added outfield depth with Michael Saunders battling a sore groin muscle. Casper Wells figures to be added as well, but he's not eligible to return until after Triple-A Tacoma's season ends on Monday because it hasn't been 10 days since he was sent down to make room for Franklin Gutierrez.
Peguero, 25, hit .285 with 21 home runs and 54 RBIs in 76 games with Tacoma. He also batted .146 in 41 at-bats in a brief stint with Seattle in July.
Ramirez, 22, was 6-3 with a 3.72 ERA in 15 starts with Tacoma. He posted an 0-2 record and 3.82 ERA in 11 games with the Mariners, including four starts before he went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right elbow in early July.
Manager Eric Wedge said he wasn't sure yet whether Ramirez would be given any starts with the Mariners over the final month.
"We haven't had lengthy discussions about that yet," Wedge said prior to Saturday's game with the Angels. "He just started the other day. We'll use him today [out of the bullpen] if we have to. I'd like to stay away from him, but we felt like we needed to have another arm here, just in case."
The Mariners will bring more players up after Tacoma's season ends. Reliever Shawn Kelley and first baseman Mike Carp are two certain additions, but both have been dealing with injuries.
Kelley was hit in the elbow with a line drive in his last outing, so he was scheduled to throw an inning Saturday for Tacoma in order to make sure he's OK.
Carp is on a rehab assignment with the Rainiers as he recovers from a strained groin, but he had his best game Friday on a 3-for-6 night with a home run and double in a 19-3 win at Fresno.