Mariner Matters | 9.7

Brandon to take Luke’s spot in the rotation and Sean appears down for the count…

Morrow, who started Sunday for Tacoma, will join the Mariners in Anaheim this week and slide into the rotation in French’s spot.

French, acquired in the deal that sent Jarrod Washburn to Detroit, has gone 3-3 with a 6.38 earned run average since joining Seattle. Opposing hitters are batting .331 against him.
In 22 games with Seattle this year, six of them starts, Morrow has an 0-4 record with six saves and a 5.28 ERA. In 10 starts for Tacoma, he went 5-3 with a 3.60 ERA. He pitched 55 innings, including a four-inning start Sunday, and struck out 40 with 23 walks. His one complete game was a four-hit shutout of Iowa on Aug. 14.
If he pitches every fifth game the rest of the way, Morrow would get four starts and the Mariners would get the chance to evaluate the right-hander.
White, who went from non-roster invitee to spring training to one of the team’s most reliable setup men, took his ailing right shoulder back to Seattle on Sunday and will see team doctors today. He is almost certainly done for the season, and if he needs surgery, he may be unavailable for the start of next season.

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White, 28, made spring adjustments to his delivery at the suggestion of pitching coach Rick Adair, and enjoyed the best season of his professional career.
“If you could promise me the same season next year he’s given us this year, I’d take it in a heartbeat,” Wakamatsu said. “That’s how special his year has been.”

Wak on Ichiro’s milestone…

“It’s such a feat,” Wakamatsu said of the 2,000-hit milestone and others within sight. “And just his ability to play every day over the years and make the adjustment from Japanese baseball to here as well as anybody is maybe going to. He’s just a special player and I know many guys in that dugout feel the same way.”

For Wakamatsu, what stands out is Ichiro’s ability to keep collecting hits even without drawing walks. Back in 2001, a big concern mentioned often by present and former players, managers and, yes, the media, was that Ichiro would never maintain the hits needed to keep his on-base percentage where a good leadoff hitter should.
And yet, nine seasons later, his lifetime OBP of .378 would put him near the upper echelon of this year’s best AL leadoff men — where five players, Ichiro included, are positioned between .380 and .401 (Ichiro is at .392).
Maintaining numbers like those over a prolonged period is something few hitters, power or otherwise, have done. And while the debate rages about Hall of Fame guideposts like 500 career home runs, in light of steroids revelations, the sanctity of a 3,000-hit career remains intact.
Ichiro will reach his 3,000th hit by the 2014 season at age 40 if he continues on this current pace.
“It’s just his versatility,” Wakamatsu said. “Like I said, he can hit home runs now and then, he can go to all fields and he can get a lot of infield hits. He puts a lot of pressure on an opposing team.”
And that pressure has continued this year, with his 54 infield singles being Ichiro’s second-highest total since 63 in 2001. And that’s come at a time when his slugging percentage of .463 is the highest he has ever posted.
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