05/31/10 10:55 PM ET
Moore, Wilson, Bedard working way back
By Mike McCall / MLB.com
Manager Don Wakamatsu said Moore and Wilson took early batting practice on Monday, and Bedard threw long toss in hopes of having a bullpen session with Moore on Friday. He added that Wilson could be sent out on a rehab assignment as early as the weekend if everything goes well.
Lowe, meanwhile, hasn't shown signs of recovery from the inflammation in his lower back that has held him out since early May.
"It just hasn't progressed. It's lingering," Wakamatsu said. "We've missed him quite a bit, obviously. He's a guy who did a lot for us last year, and we've tried to fill that gap and, unfairly, putting a lot of pressure on [Brandon League] in that situation."
He added that catcher Josh Bard is still experiencing tightness in his left calf. He'll be eligible to return from the DL on June 11.
Pitchers prepare for Interleague Play with BP
SEATTLE -- Mariners pitchers haven't gotten a ton of run support this season, and on Monday, they took the first step toward fending for themselves.
Seattle will play six straight games without a designated hitter during two road Interleague Play series starting June 11, and the Mariners' pitchers hit on the field for the first time this year before the series opener with the Twins.
The Mariners won't be expecting a huge lift at the plate from their hurlers, but a few know their way around the batter's box.
In 2004, Jason Vargas led Long Beach State with a .354 batting average while pulling double duty as a designated hitter, Ian Snell spent parts of the previous six seasons in the National League with the Pirates, and Felix Hernandez has shown some pop in the past with his grand slam off the Mets' Johan Santana in '08.
Reliever Ryan Rowland-Smith flashed the most consistent power Monday, using his 6-foot-3, 240-pound frame to belt homers to right and right-center. The main concern is making sure the pitchers are comfortable with their swings and don't get injured.
"We're sitting with 11 pitchers right now, and if we lose one, we're in tough shape," said pitching coach Rick Adair, who threw batting practice. "You're always a little concerned about that, because they haven't swung. You start using muscles you haven't used in a while, so it's always a concern."
Shorthanded bullpen works on efficiency
SEATTLE -- The Mariners' bullpen has lost two games in a row in walk-off fashion, but manager Don Wakamatsu said he didn't feel the need to send a message to his relievers.
"They understand the situation," Wakamatsu said. "The thing we talked about most in the postgame is the ability to get through the fifth and sixth inning with either [Kanekoa Texeira] or [Jesus Colome], and that's really the ability to throw strikes."
Texeira and Colome combined to walk four and allow two runs in 1 2/3 innings, and closer David Aardsma gave up the game-ending three-run homer in the Mariners' 9-7 loss to the Angels on Sunday.
The unit is down from seven to six men in an effort to get more offense out of bench players, and it's just a five-man group on Monday. Wakamatsu said Shawn Kelley is available only in emergency after throwing 37 pitches and tweaking his groin in Anaheim.
That means Ryan Rowland-Smith, used sparingly since being demoted to the 'pen, is likely to be used in long relief if the need arises.
"With a six-man bullpen, you have to pitch everybody," Wakamatsu said. "Yesterday we tried to get two innings out of Colome or Texeira and keep Rowland-Smith for the back end in case they tied it up. Today's a different situation when you're dealing with a five-man bullpen. He's going to need to pitch."
The Mariners are 20-10 when playing on Memorial Day, including an 11-3 mark in their last 14 tries. They wore white hats with a special stars and stripes logo to mark the occasion, and they will don the caps again on July 4 and September 11. ... With his 3-for-4 debut on Sunday, catcher Eliezer Alfonzo became just the fifth player to notch five RBIs in his first game with the Mariners.
Mike McCall is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.