PEORIA, Ariz. – Shortstop Jack Wilson and center fielder Franklin Gutierrez are expected to be back in the lineup when the Seattle Mariners play a pair of spring games today.
Wilson left Seattle’s 9-3 loss to San Diego on Friday when he felt tightness in his right hamstring. Gutierrez has been hampered by a sore right shoulder and will make his first spring start when the Mariners play Milwaukee and the Chicago White Sox in split-squad games today.
Closer David Aardsma, who strained his groin Thursday against San Diego, is scheduled to throw a bullpen session today.
Seattle’s game against San Diego on Sunday was canceled due to rain. It was the first spring game in Peoria to be rained out since March 11, 2006.
“We’re in good shape, actually,” Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said. “It doesn’t affect us a whole lot. With that split squad, we’re just pushing guys back.”
Ryan Rowland-Smith’s first spring start was moved back to today. Doug Fister will start the other game.
“We got a lot of work done in the cages,” Wakamatsu said. “This will give us an opportunity to review a bunch of signs.
“We’ll have a lot of breakout meetings, so it’s not too bad.”
Under the direction of veterans Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Sweeney, the Mariners held an “American Idol” competition before morning workouts. There were 10 groups of three players, all with fewer than two years of big league experience. The “Hawaiian Punch” trio of Matt Tuiasosopo, Steven Baron and Kanekoa Texeira won the competition. Griffey was a Randy Jackson-like judge, Eric Byrnes assumed the role of Ellen DeGeneres and Ryan Rowland-Smith was the designated Simon Cowell.