03/13/12 7:37 PM ET
Furbush ready to serve any role for Mariners
By Greg Johns / MLB.com
Furbush, 25, seems headed more toward a relief role based on his use this spring, though the Mariners haven't ruled out extending him to starter status at some point. But with seven starters competing for five rotation berths already, his best opportunity may come in the bullpen.
"They haven't said anything to me, so I'm assuming it could be both at this point," said Furbush, who was obtained from the Tigers in the Doug Fister trade last July. "I'm just trying to not really worry about that and just go out and pitch."
He's pitched very well to date, allowing just four hits and no runs in six innings. Furbush was a starter all his life until spending some time in the Tigers' bullpen last year. He said he feels plenty strong enough to get extended if that is the plan, but understands the situation.
"Being a starter you get the routine planned out a little bit," he said. "In the bullpen, when that phone rings you need to get ready to go. It's the difference between knowing and not knowing. That's something that was new to me last year, because I've always been a starter, but I enjoyed it. Being able to hang out in the bullpen was a cool experience.
"Obviously if it goes that route this year, I just want to be on the team. That's the goal."
Manager Eric Wedge seems to be gaining confidence in Furbush the more he's seen this spring.
"You know what, he's starting to figure it out a little bit," said the skipper. "He's in better control of his body, which allows his arm to work better, which allows him to have a more consistent release point.
"He has the arm, he has stuff, he just has to stay over the rubber and keep his delivery together and put him in a position to deliver the ball more consistently at home plate. He's really working hard at it and it's starting to leak into his game."
Wedge acknowledged Furbush could still be used in either role this season, noting that things could change for a few pitchers after the team goes to Japan for its two-game series with the A's and then has a week before returning to regular-season play.
Noesi continues bid for spot in rotation
PHOENIX -- New Mariners right-hander Hector Noesi threw three innings of one-run ball in Seattle's 7-4 win over the Brewers on Tuesday, continuing his bid for a spot in the rotation.
Acquired from the Yankees in the Jesus Montero-Michael Pineda trade, Noesi figures prominently in the Mariners' plans as they fill out their pitching staff behind ace Felix Hernandez and No. 2 starter Jason Vargas.
Noesi, 25, said he isn't worrying about any of that right now, after holding the Brewers to three hits and just the single run on a second-inning home run by Travis Ishikawa.
"I don't think about that," Noesi said. "I don't compete with anybody, I just do what I love ... play baseball."
The Mariners have liked what they've seen so far from Noesi, who has an easy delivery and some pop to his fastball.
"Good again," manager Eric Wedge said. "He's moving his fastball around, using all of his pitches, he's really composed out there and keeps the ball down for the most part. He's still learning, but you have to like the way he's pitching and the way he carries himself."
Noesi threw two shutout innings in his Cactus League debut 10 days ago against the A's, then gave up one run in three innings in a "B" game Thursday against the Rockies.
The plan Tuesday was to give him four innings of work, but he threw too many pitches in a three-hit second inning and was replaced after 57 pitches in three frames. Wedge said he'll throw about 80 in his next outing.
Noesi said he's growing more comfortable after a month with the Mariners. It's been an adjustment, coming to a new organization after seven seasons in the Yankees' system. But he said Seattle is a good fit and one he actually foreshadowed while in his native Dominican Republic.
"When I was in the Dominican, they called and told me I'd been traded to Seattle," he said. "Before that, my best friend asked me if I want to play for another team besides the Yankees and I said, 'Yes, I want to go to Seattle because I love the city.' And then they traded me to Seattle."
Hector Noesi's walk of Rickie Weeks in the third inning on Tuesday ended a streak of 14 straight innings without a base on balls by Seattle starters. Mariners starters have walked just seven batters in 42 1/3 innings this spring.
Jason Vargas will pitch in a Minor League intrasquad game Wednesday afternoon at the Mariners training facility, which keeps him on schedule to start the second game of the regular season in Tokyo. That move allows the club to take a look at Kevin Millwood in Wednesday night's Cactus League game against the Royals in Peoria.
The Wednesday night game against the Royals will be the first televised game of the spring in the Seattle area, with ROOT Sports carrying the contest at 7:05 p.m. PT. ROOT will also televise Thursday night's game with Erasmo Ramirez on the mound.
The four other Cactus League games to be televised this spring will be the Rockies game Sunday from Peoria (1:05 p.m. PT), as well as afternoon games on April 1-3 against the Royals and Rockies (twice).
The Mariners have added a seven-inning "B" game on Thursday at 10 a.m. PT against the White Sox in Glendale, with Jeff Marquez, Charlie Furbush and Brandon League scheduled to throw. But manager Eric Wedge will also use the game to move some position players around a little, with Chone Figgins slated to play second base and Munenori Kawasaki getting some time at third for the first time.