9/21/2013 3:57 A.M. ET
Mariners undecided on rotation for final week
By Greg Johns / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- Manager Eric Wedge said his pitching rotation for the final six home games would not be finalized until after Sunday, and he indicated it was possible Hisashi Iwakuma might not be used.
The club wants to see how Felix Hernandez fares Sunday in his first start since straining an oblique muscle Sept. 3 before determining if Hernandez will go one more time in the last series against the A's at Safeco Field.
"We've been talking about it; let's get through this weekend, and we'll watch Felix on Sunday and kind of go from there," Wedge said. "We have a couple different scenarios we've played out, depending on how it all goes."
One scenario would be to shut down Iwakuma, who has already thrown a career-high 211 2/3 innings. Asked if Iwakuma would definitely make one more start, Wedge hedged his answer.
"Well, he's throwing his bullpen today," he said. "How's that for an answer? As of right now we're planning on him starting. But everything is up in the air as we say that."
The only definite is that rookie Brandon Maurer will start Monday's series opener against the Royals. Seattle has three games with Kansas City, then an off-day Thursday before closing out with a three-game weekend set against the A's.
Iwakuma would normally be slated for Tuesday. If he doesn't go, rookie James Paxton could move into that slot and still pitch on the normal four days' rest.
Seager sits after 106 consecutive starts
ANAHEIM -- Kyle Seager has been the most consistent part of the Mariners' lineup all season, but the young third baseman saw his streak of 106 consecutive starts come to an end Friday against the Angels.
Seager did come off the bench in the seventh inning and wound up getting three at-bats in Seattle's 3-2 loss in 11 innings, going 0-for-2 with a walk.
Seager's string of starts was the longest run by a third baseman in club history and the second-longest active streak in the American League behind the 203 of Baltimore's Manny Machado.
Rookie Carlos Triunfel took Seager's place at third, with rookie second baseman Nick Franklin shifting over to get his first Major League start at shortstop. Dustin Ackley, who had been playing center field, moved back to second base to fill out an infield that is shorthanded due to a hamstring strain that has sidelined starting shortstop Brad Miller since Saturday.
Seager was 2-for-40 at the plate over an 11-game stretch until going 2-for-3 in Thursday's 5-4 loss to the Tigers, but he insisted he felt fine physically.
"It's something that as I've gotten into the routine of everything, it honestly does feel fine," he said. "I don't feel physically tired, or crazy tired anyway. It's something where I got into a nice routine and feel fine."
Seager did not sound thrilled to be absent from the lineup Friday, but he said manager Eric Wedge told him "to get a breather and finish off the season strong."
The 25-year-old played a team-high 155 games last year and will rack up 159 games this season if he plays the remaining eight games. And you will hear no complaints from Seager about being overused.
"That's what everybody wants to do," he said. "Everybody wants to play every day. You're going through all this stuff, you want to be somebody they have confidence in to put you out there every day. You want them to be able to pencil you in every day. As a player, that's what you want."
Miller likely past final hurdle before return
ANAHEIM -- Rookie shortstop Brad Miller did some running and agility drills under the watchful eye of trainer Rick Griffin prior to Friday's series opener at Angel Stadium and said he was eager to return to the lineup after sitting out six straight games with a strained left hamstring.
"It felt a lot better," Miller said. "We did almost the exact same stuff [Thursday in Detroit], and there was no soreness after that, which is huge. It's been feeling better every day, so that's been very encouraging. It felt good to get out there and actually run just so I know where it's at."
Miller said he did not think there were any big tests left to pass before he got the OK to return.
"They said to see how it feels tomorrow but left it open," he said. "The good thing is I've been able to hit and throw and everything, so once they clear me for this, then I can hit the ground running. I was able to swing almost immediately. So I'm ready to get out there.
"It's been rough. But they've been taking care of me, and I'm just trying to get back there as soon as possible but also ready, so I can be in there for good."
Manager Eric Wedge indicated Miller would most likely get at least one more day to recuperate.
"He had a real good day today, so I'm hoping for maybe Sunday or Monday," Wedge said prior to Friday's game. "He's still not there yet, but it was a good day today."
• Mariners players and all on-field personnel wore "HY" patches on their jersey sleeves Friday in honor of majority owner Hiroshi Yamauchi, who died Thursday in Tokyo at 85. The club will also hold a moment of silence prior to Monday's game against the Royals, which will be the first home game after the team returns from its 10-game road trip.
• The Mariners' bullpen ranks 29th out of 30 teams in the Majors with a 4.54 ERA, yet it has set a single-season club record for strikeouts with 503. The old record was 476 in 1996. The team became just the seventh in American League history with more than 500 strikeouts in a season.