07/06/12 10:10 PM ET
Iwakuma moving into starting rotation
By Greg Johns / MLB.com
With Hector Noesi sent down to Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday and rookie Erasmo Ramirez on the 15-day disabled list with a sore elbow, Iwakuma will take one of the starting slots. Iwakuma made a spot start last week against the Orioles and threw five innings of three-run ball.
Wedge said Ramirez wouldn't likely be ready to pitch the first time through the rotation after the break, so another move likely would be coming.
Blake Beavan is 2-0 with a 2.52 ERA in four starts since being sent down to Tacoma, so he could be a possibility. Noesi would also be eligible to return by the time the Mariners need a fifth starter after the break, but Wedge sounded as if they'd like him to work on some things first.
"He has to just be more consistent, focus better from pitch to pitch, finish off hitters," Wedge said. "I'd like to see him have a little more intensity on the mound. With that will come the focus and having a purpose with every pitch and executing pitches. It's just being able to throw 100 pitches and get the most out of each and every one. I like his delivery, I like his stuff."
Wedge said some of the rotation issues after the break could depend on Felix Hernandez's pitch count in the All-Star Game on Tuesday. The Mariners have had discussions with Rangers manager Ron Washington about Hernandez's usage, but Wedge wouldn't discuss specifics.
In previous years, pitchers who threw on the Sunday before the All-Star Game weren't allowed to pitch in the Tuesday game. This year, they are allowed to do so, but teams have the chance to set parameters on how they'll be used.
Montero will not need DL stint
OAKLAND -- Jesus Montero was not in the Mariners lineup Friday after sustaining a mild concussion during Wednesday's 4-2 loss to the Orioles, but the rookie catcher will not have to go on the seven-day disabled list for players with concussion issues.
Montero, 22, was taken out of Wednesday's game after getting hit in the mask by a foul ball from Robert Andino in the fifth inning.
Manager Eric Wedge said Montero will be evaluated daily until he's cleared, but wouldn't need to go on the seven-day DL because of the upcoming All-Star break after this weekend.
"He's closer," Wedge said of Montero. "I know he's frustrated and wants to play, but you can't mess around with those things. We'll give him the test every day and see how he reacts to it and go from there. We'll see."
Montero indicated his own situation wasn't that serious.
"He hit me pretty good, but it's not a big deal," Montero said. "I don't know what they're going to do, but I'm ready. It's whatever they decide, but I'm fine."
Franklin Gutierrez remains on disabled list with a more-severe concussion suffered June 29. Wedge said he likely won't be ready even when his second seven-day stint is up on July 13.
Gutierrez was hit in the head by a pickoff throw by the Red Sox's Franklin Morales.
"He's better, but he's not there yet," Wedge said. "He still has bouts of dizziness and the affects of it. The first day he's eligible to come off would be Friday after the break, but that may be a little optimistic."
"Guti's was worse because he didn't have any protection," said Montero. "Thank God I have the mask."
Peguero gets start in right field
OAKLAND -- Carlos Peguero started in right field for the Mariners on Friday in his first game after being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma, but manager Eric Wedge said future playing time after the All-Star break will depend on how things go on a lot of different fronts.
Peguero provides some big power potential, having hit six home runs in his last five games in Tacoma, but has had a high strikeout rate in his career and batted just .196 last year in 46 games as a rookie.
"We'll try to get him in there as much as we can," Wedge said. "He'd really turned it on down there the last 3-4 weeks. I'd like to take a good look at him if we can. At some point in time, we're going to have some numbers issues. You can only play so many. But right now we should have an opportunity to play him for a few days."
Wedge noted that center fielder Franklin Gutierrez should return from his concussion issues at some point after the All-Star break and Mike Carp is on a rehab stint in Tacoma as he recovers from a shoulder issue. With Casper Wells, Michael Saunders and Ichiro Suzuki also in the outfield picture, things could get crowded.
"We'll just see how it plays out before we make any bold statements, but he deserves to be up here," Wedge said.
Peguero, 25, said he's worked hard at being a more patient hitter and is ready to show his progress.
"There's a lot of difference [from a year ago] because in my mind now I feel really, really good and ready to go," Peguero said. "I'm just ready for the opportunity. Last year was something of a surprise for me, but now I feel like I'm good and really ready to be here."
• Rookie reliever Stephen Pryor, who is on the disabled list with a strained groin muscle, threw a simulated inning on Friday and will be sent to Class A High Desert on Sunday to begin his rehab stint. Wedge said Pryor would then go to Tacoma after the Triple-A All-Star break.
• Brandon League has made 172 relief appearances since the start of 2010, the most in the American League. Jason Frasor and Tony Sipp are second in that span with 170.
• Going into Friday's games, Kyle Seager was tied for the third-most road RBIs this season. Of Seager's 48 RBIs, 33 have come in away games. Josh Hamilton of Texas leads the Majors with 38, Toronto's Jose Bautista is second with 37 and Seager is tied with Detroit's Prince Fielder.