09/26/11 9:52 PM ET
Wells to see new doctor about balance issues
By Taylor Soper / MLB.com
Wells, who hasn't played since Sept. 16, will go through a series of tests on Tuesday with a specialist who deals with balance disorders in an effort to fix an issue that has been affecting the 26-year-old for the past few weeks.
"He'll have three different tests and each test lasts for one hour," team trainer Rick Griffin said. "After the tests are over, the physician will sit down and analyze each test and determine a course of action for him based on the results."
What once might have been a sinus infection has turned into something a bit more complicated and unknown for the Towson University graduate. Wells stayed home over the past road trip and has already seen the team physicians, an ophthalmologist and an optometrist who specializes in sports vision. It doesn't seem like the outfielder has any eye disorders or infections.
"The symptoms haven't really subsided," Wells said on Monday. "That's all I can really say. Nothing has got better."
Wells, who was acquired from Detroit in the Doug Fister deal at the July 31 Trade Deadline, has been having trouble with his balance and perception on the field. The New York native says he doesn't know when the problem started, but he did get knocked in the nose with a Brandon Morrow pitch on Aug. 17. But nothing has pointed to that being the reason for the problem.
There are correlations with this issue and Wells' production. He burst onto the Seattle scene after hitting homers in four consecutive games in August, but has just three hits in the past 15 games (3-for-45). He's hitting .216 with Seattle and .237 overall this season.
"It's almost like I'm loopy out there," Wells said.
Griffin, who's been the team trainer since 1983, says he's never seen anything quite like this.
"I've had guys who have had isolated instances with dizziness and vertigo-like symptoms, but this is different," Griffin said. "That's why it's taken a little bit longer."
Manager Eric Wedge said Monday that Wells will be out for the final three games of the season. He also added that shortstop Brendan Ryan, who is still recovering from a disk issue in his neck, will also sit out the final three games.
"We're going to stay away from Ryan and Wells for the rest of the way," Wedge said. "When you talk about what you are getting versus what you're not getting, it just makes more sense to do this."
Manager Eric Wedge started five rookies on Monday for his 25th lineup this month. Wedge has used 150 different starting lineups in 160 games. The club record is 151 lineups in 2004.
Ichiro will most likely not reach 200 hits for the first time in his career -- he's at 182 with three games left -- but he is poised to move up the all-time hits list. Ichiro sits at No. 110 with 2,426, while Kenny Lofton is 109th with 2,428 hits.
With a win on Monday over Oakland, the Mariners can secure the season series over the A's, which would mark the third time they've done that in five seasons. This is the third time in the last four years that the Mariners have ended the season against Oakland.
Taylor Soper is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.