05/01/12 7:40 PM ET
Five Mariners take on Tropicana's catwalk
By Greg Johns / MLB.com
Catwalks? A ladder? A crazy view? Why not? So relievers Tom Wilhelmsen, Lucas Luetge, Charlie Furbush and Steve Delabar, and outfielder Casper Wells talked the Rays' grounds crew into letting them make the climb and take in the field from 220 feet above the artificial turf about four hours before Tuesday's game with the Rays.
Tampa Bay writers said they don't recall seeing other visiting players take that challenge before, though Rays players have gotten the tour and former Tampa Bay catcher John Jaso is the one who told his new Mariners teammates they needed to take the challenge.
"We think outside the box in Seattle," Wilhelmsen said.
The players took the elevator six floors up to the upper deck at Tropicana, walked the 30 rows of seats to the top of the stadium, climbed a 12-foot ladder and then another 120 feet of steps up a long catwalk to the center of the field.
Wilhelmsen, Delabar and Furbush then did the full 360-degree turn around the inner ring.
"Some of the steps seemed a little loose, so that was difficult," said Luetge. "I was holding onto the sides pretty tight. It was pretty hot up there. I started sweating. But that might have been nerves. I'm a little scared of heights, so I was a little nervous. But I couldn't pass it up. I faced a fear."
Wells, the only position player in the group, said he began having second thoughts about halfway out the catwalk.
"I just thought I'll keep my eye on the prize and just look forward," Wells said. "Once you get more toward the top, you can't stop. Those guys were going around that circle and I was like, 'Ahhh, I'm good right here.' All you've got is that little grate between you and the ground.
"My legs were a little Jell-O-y. I felt like I was in my first big league at-bat again."
Furbush said the players signed their names on one of the metal beams, where a lot of others had already left their mark.
"We didn't have a Sharpie, so we signed our names in the dust on one of the bars, just to say we did it," Furbush said. "It's not quite the same as signing the inside of the wall at Fenway Park, but it was pretty cool."
Cool only goes so far, however, when you're staring down 420 feet at the field straight below. Which is why Wells drew a line at the center circle and just waited to go back down.
"I've got to play tonight," he grinned. "I've got four at-bats. Those guys are relief pitchers. You can replace them."
Carp rejoins Mariners with Olivo injured
ST. PETERSBURG -- Mariners outfielder Mike Carp was recalled from his rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Tacoma on Tuesday and activated from the 15-day disabled list to take the place of injured catcher Miguel Olivo.
Olivo was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right groin after injuring himself in Monday's 3-2 loss to the Rays.
Carp flew from Tucson, Ariz., to Florida on Tuesday and rejoined the team in time for batting practice, but was not in the lineup against left-handed starter Matt Moore in Tuesday night's game.
Carp sprained his right shoulder on Opening Day in Tokyo and has spent the past three weeks with Tacoma, where he's struggled at the plate while regaining his timing, batting just .137 (7-for-51) with two doubles and four RBIs in 13 games. But he did have hits in three of his last four outings.
"It's relieving, very refreshing," Carp said after exchanging greetings with teammates. "I've been working real hard to get ready. It's been a grind and I'm happy to be here.
"I feel pretty good. The arm strength is still getting there. It's going to take some time. It was a pretty bad injury. I didn't think it was, but the doctors told me it would take some time. I've been turning corners every week and this last week I've been pretty normal. Hopefully this next week I get back to 100 percent."
Manager Eric Wedge said Carp would be worked back into playing time in left field, first base and designated hitter. With rookie Jesus Montero splitting time with John Jaso at catcher now that Olivo is out, some of that time figures to come at DH.
Olivo remained with the team in St. Petersburg. He'll have further tests done by team doctors when the club returns to Seattle on Friday.
Olivo strained his right groin muscle in the ninth inning while fielding a ball in front of the plate and turning quickly to throw to first base with his foot planted in the Tropicana Field turf. He had to be helped off the field and said the pain was worse than when he had a similar injury in the 2011 Spring Training that kept him out three weeks.
Liddi to get look in multiple lineup spots
ST PETERSBURG -- Rookie Alex Liddi was back in the lineup Tuesday against Tampa Bay, his eighth start in the past 11 games, and Mariners manager Eric Wedge indicated he'll continue getting a good look at various spots in the batting order after entering Tuesday hitting .291 with a pair of home runs on the current road trip.
Liddi, 23, was hitting second on Tuesday and playing third base while Chone Figgins was out of the lineup. Dustin Ackley hit leadoff for the third time this season.
"We're not sure where he's going to end up, but I like having a little pop up at the top of the lineup like that," Wedge said of Liddi. "He puts up good at-bats. He doesn't give away at-bats. I just feel good about wherever we put him.
"And I don't think he cares. He just wants to play. He comes here, he works his tail off each and every day, whether he plays or not. He just wants to be in there. So we're getting him in there."
After a nice start, Figgins hit just .209 in April and just .159 over the past 19 games.
"He's had some good days and some not-so-good days," said Wedge. "He's just been a little inconsistent for me right now."
• When both Miguel Olivo and Jesus Montero homered in Monday's 3-2 loss, it was the first time in Mariners history that two different catchers went deep in the same game. Olivo started behind the plate and hit a home run in the second inning, then Montero replaced him at catcher when Olivo was injured in the ninth and the rookie homered in the 11th inning.
That situation has happened six times in the Majors since 2000, the last being Oct. 3, 2009, when Victor Martinez and Dusty Brown did it for the Indians.
• Going into Tuesday's game, 14 of the Mariners' last 18 runs had scored on home runs in the previous five outings.
• Felix Hernandez allowed one run in eight innings on Monday, but wound up a with a no-decision, the third time this season he's allowed one earned run or less in eight innings with nothing to show for it.