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04/15/07 7:54 PM ET
Notes: Rhodes seeks elbow specialist
Ichiro snaps out of it; Beltre's new approach nets homer
By Bob Sherwin / Special to MLB.com
SEATTLE -- Arthur Rhodes has decided to get a second opinion on his injured left elbow.
"I'm going to Anaheim next week," said Rhodes before the Mariners' game on Sunday against the Rangers. The 37-year-old left-hander will be examined by noted surgeon Frank Jobe, who pioneered elbow tendon transplant surgery in 1974, now commonly known as Tommy John surgery.
Rhodes has been diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. It's likely that he will require surgery, which would mean he would miss the entire season. At his age, his career also would be in jeopardy.
However, Rhodes is hoping for a slim chance that the tear is not as severe so that rest and rehab will allow him to return this season.
Rhodes is on his second stint with the Mariners, having played with the club from 2000 to 2003. He went on to pitch for Oakland, Cleveland and Philadelphia the past three seasons before signing as a non-roster free agent with Seattle this spring.
He had a 2.57 ERA in eight spring outings but has not thrown a pitch during the regular season.
Ichiro Suzuki, who was on an 0-for-13 funk with seven strikeouts before Saturday's game, went 1-for-3 in that game then started Sunday's game with his 21st career leadoff home run. It could mean that he has found his groove.
"He's going to be fine," manager Mike Hargrove said. "Look at the top 10 in all offensive categories. A lot of those names now won't be there in June and July. I'll bet a dollar to doughnuts that he'll have his 200 hits, his .300 average and be the superstar he has been since the day he picked up a baseball bat."
What was particularly peculiar was that Ichiro had two three-strikeout games during his slump. Previously, he had only four three-strikeout games in his career.
"Based on results, there is always a reason for that result to happen," Ichiro said through an interpreter, "but I'm glad because next time I strikeout three times no one will ask about it because it already happened."
Ichiro, a little impatient with all the attention on his slow start, was asked if his final at-bat Saturday -- a lineout to right field -- was an indication that he had fixed his swing.
"I don't know," he said, "and I don't care."
Adrian Beltre is taking a tactical approach to hitting at Safeco Field this month. He understands that like most stadiums this time of year, the cold air can cut back on the distance the batted ball travels. It's particularly tough at Safeco Field because of heavy marine air and slightly longer gap dimensions.
"I'm just trying to hit line drives," Beltre said. "I know what it's like here for the first month or so. I just trying hit line drives up the middle."
Beltre hit three long outs to the warning track Friday. His first one traveled more than 400 feet to dead center. Then on Saturday he finally cleared the wall with a shot into the left-field bullpen for his first home run.
"It's kind of tough when you hit the ball like that [to center] and not to get frustrated," he said, "but that's what you want to do -- hit it hard somewhere."
Left-hander Horacio Ramirez was the last roster player in the big leagues to officially appear in a game with his start Sunday. He started April 6 against Cleveland but that game was snowed out before it became official. ... The Negro Leagues traveling museum returns to Safeco Field May 11-13. ... The Mariners are the only team in the Majors not to face a left-handed starter yet this season. Their first one likely will be Thursday -- Minnesota's Johan Santana.
The time for the May 2 game against the Chicago White Sox at Safeco Field has been changed from 7:05 p.m. PT to 12:35 p.m. Also, the rescheduled game in Boston on May 3 will be at 4:05 PT.
On deck: The Mariners take the day off Monday, then continue the homestand with a three-game series against Minnesota beginning Tuesday. Jeff Weaver (0-1, 31.50 ERA) is eager to get back on the mound after a seven-day break. He was knocked around for seven runs on seven hits in two innings against Boston on April 10. Weaver will be opposed by right-hander Ramon Ortiz (2-0, 1.80).