Now that Ken Griffey Jr.’s swollen knee has calmed down, he is ready to play in his first game for Seattle in a decade.
The 39-year-old slugger hit for about 10 minutes against two Class A pitchers in a simulated game on Monday. Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu then confirmed Griffey will make his spring debut, as planned, at designated hitter on Wednesday against Australia’s national team.
The outing will come 11 days after baseball’s leading active home run hitter signed an incentive-filled deal to return to where his career began 20 years ago. Griffey had arthroscopic knee surgery in October.
Wakamatsu has said he wants Griffey to have about 30 or 40 at-bats before the opener on April 6 at Minnesota. And Griffey says he doesn’t need games to get that work, adding that spring games are primarily for pitchers.
On the field Monday, Mariners starter Jarrod Washburn pitched two scoreless innings, allowing one hit, in a 5-3 win over the Chicago White Sox in Glendale, Ariz.