6/19/2013 10:47 P.M. ET
Medina enjoys first Major League save
By Greg Johns / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- Right-hander Yoervis Medina, a converted starter in his first season in the Majors, became the youngest Mariners pitcher to record his first career save since Brandon Morrow in 2008 when he slammed the door in the 10th inning of Seattle's 3-2 victory over the Angels on Tuesday night.
Medina, 24, only began working as a reliever last year after coming up as a starter after signing as a free agent out of Venezuela at 17. Morrow was 23 when he saved his first game against the Blue Jays on June 11, 2008.
"I'm very excited," Medina said after getting the obligatory beer shower from teammates in the clubhouse on Tuesday night. "I was a little bit nervous in the bullpen. I was like, 'OK, take your time, relax and throw strikes.'"
Medina mowed down 3-4-5 hitters Albert Pujols, Mark Trumbo and Howie Kendrick in his first save situation since manager Eric Wedge decided to go with a closer-by-committee effort until Tom Wilhelmsen gets his feet back under him after some recent struggles.
Since being called up on April 16 to replace injured setup man Stephen Pryor, Medina has posted a 3.04 ERA and held opponents to a .188 batting average in 23 2/3 innings over 23 appearances going into Wednesday's game. Pretty good stuff for a guy who was 1-13 with a 6.50 ERA as a starter for Class A High Desert in 2011 before working 46 games out of the bullpen with a 3.25 ERA for Double-A Jackson last year.
"I like relieving because my arm is very good," Medina said. "I can pitch today, and pitch tomorrow and two more times. My arm is good for being a reliever."
Meanwhile, Wedge used Wilhelmsen for 1 2/3 innings in Wednesday's victory. He was credited with his fifth blown save in his past 10 save opportunities after giving up a leadoff home run to Pujols that tied the game at 2 in the eighth, but recorded five outs before giving way to Charlie Furbush with two on and two out in the ninth.
"That was probably the best curve I've thrown all year," Wilhelmsen said after mixing in numerous offspeed pitches with his 97-mph heater. "I'm trying to work on it, staying over the rubber a little bit and get it out front a little bit. Just throwing the heck out of it, trying to throw all the [bad] ones out, maybe I'll leave them just anywhere else but on the field."
Wedge said Wilhelmsen will continue to be used in different roles for now, as a setup man, but that he remains an integral part of the bullpen.
"Tommy has had his struggles, but we have to get him back on track and get him back in that closer's role," Wedge said. "I thought last night helped him take a step in the right direction."
Morse back at first as Smoak sits Wednesday
ANAHEIM -- After hitting a home run in his first at-bat after coming off the disabled list on Tuesday, Justin Smoak was given Wednesday off as manager Eric Wedge went with Michael Morse back at first base.
Morse sat out Tuesday to rest a strained right quadriceps muscle, but Wedge wanted his bat in the lineup against Angels lefty C.J. Wilson in the third game of the series at Angel Stadium.
Kendrys Morales, who has been hampered by a sore back the past week, remained in the lineup at designated hitter.
"We can only get two of those three guys in there between Smoak, Morales and Morse," Wedge said. "Until Morse is able to get in the outfield, this is what we'll have to do. Against a lefty tonight, we want to go with Morse and Morales."
Both Morse and Morales are making slow progress, but have remained in the lineup for the most part.
"My back was tight, but it loosened up and it was a lot better," Morales said after Tuesday night's game, when he drove in the winning run in the 10th inning of a 3-2 victory. "I'm looking forward to getting better with the treatment. I'll be OK."
Outfielder Jason Bay sat out his third straight game on Wednesday due to a sore hamstring.
Mariners sign 15 more Draft picks
ANAHEIM -- The Mariners announced Wednesday that 15 more players selected in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft have agreed to contract terms. The club has now signed 28 of its 40 selections.
Two of the picks -- fourth-rounder Ryan Horstman and 11th-rounder Zack Littell -- had previously been reported as signing. The other 13 players were selected in the 14th round or later.
Seattle has yet to sign second-rounder Austin Wilson, an outfielder from Stanford, and eighth-rounder Tyler Smith, a shortstop from Oregon State, which is still competing in the College World Series. The only other pick from Rounds 1-20 yet to agree is 13th-rounder Lachlan Fontaine, a third baseman out of Vancouver, B.C.
Nine of the players announced in the latest group are pitchers. Besides Horstman and Littell, they include Eddie Campbell (15th round), Paul Fry (17th), Troy Scott (18th), Tommy Burns (22nd), Will Mathis (25th), Tyler Wright (26th) and Michaelangelo Guzman (31st).
Also signing were infielders Lonnie Kauppila (16th round), Zach Shank (28th) and Jordan Cowan (37th), outfielder Ian Miller (14th) and catchers Daniel Torres (20th) and Kyle Petty (23rd).
Horstman and Wright -- a 22-year-old out of the University of Arkansas -- were assigned to the Class A Everett squad, while the rest will report to Rookie League ball in Arizona.
The Mariners have until July 12 at 2 p.m. PT to sign players selected in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.
• Erasmo Ramirez, working his way back from a triceps injury, took the loss for Triple-A Tacoma on Tuesday in a 4-1 setback at Colorado Springs. Ramirez gave up five hits and four runs (three earned) in six innings with one walk and five strikeouts. The 23-year-old is 2-2 with a 1.69 ERA in four starts.
• Veteran reliever Josh Kinney threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings for Tacoma and has yet to give up a run in four rehab appearances as he returns from a rib injury that has sidelined him since March. Manager Eric Wedge said Kinney just needs to continue working at this point as he's essentially in Spring Training mode after missing three months.
• Dustin Ackley got the day off Tuesday for Tacoma, while Franklin Gutierrez went 0-for-3 at designated hitter and is batting .214 in his extended rehab stint. Both are working to return to Seattle, which could make for an interesting situation. Gutierrez is eligible to come off the 60-day DL on Saturday, while Ackley is hitting .383 in 19 games for the Rainiers.
"We have to see how it all plays out," Wedge said. "Until we go get Ackley and until Gutierrez is ready, we don't have to cross that bridge until we get to it. We'll see what's going on with the guys up here, whether performance related or injury related. We could go from a situation where go from being really thin in the outfield right now to where we've got too many guys. But I'd rather have it the other way than the way it is now."
• Reliever Steven Pryor continues progressing slowly from a torn lat muscle behind his right shoulder, but Wedge said it's "probably far-fetched" to expect him back in the next three weeks before the first half ends.
"He's doing good," Wedge said. "When we get back, if he continues to improve we'll get him back on the mound and then the goal will be eventually get him to Arizona to get some work in and then go from there. It's just been slow. It's a tough injury for him."