McLaren Finds Challenges in Injuries

McLaren Finds Challenges in Injuries

The first real task for new manager John McLaren is not getting his first win. It's going to be making out the starting lineup. The Mariners went into Tuesday without first baseman Richie Sexson available after he took a line drove off his right thumb. He's expected to miss a few more days.

Then in Tuesday's game, starting catcher Kenji Johjima was struck by a pitch that was deflected off Kansas City batter Mark Teahen. The ball hit Johjima on his right hand, and he left the game immediately.

He's got a contusion of the first metacarpal of his right hand and will probably need a couple of days off.

It seems possible that the Mariners will have to dip into the minor leagues to bring up a catcher, because right now Jamie Burke is the only catcher on the team. Willie

Bloomquist might be able to catch in a pinch, however.

And McLaren, who is 0-2 after taking over from Mike Hargrove, said after Tuesday's game he thought Johjima might be able to catch Thursday in Oakland.

R0YALS 17, MARINERS 3: For the second time in three starts, rookie left-hander Ryan Feierabend looked like someone who isn't quite ready for the job the Mariners need him to do. Feierabend gave up six runs in the first inning and another four in the second before new manager John McLaren pulled the plug. Feierabend had five shutout innings against the Red Sox in his last start, but before that he took the loss in a 16-1 debacle at the hands of the Pirates.

NOTES, QUOTES

--1B Richie Sexson wasn't in the lineup Tuesday and probably will miss a couple more days with a sore right thumb after getting hit by a line drive late in Monday's game. He's wearing a small black cast on his right hand.

--C Kenji Johjima was taken out of Tuesday's game with a freak injury when a pitch deflected off Kansas City batter Mark Teahen and hit Johjima on his unprotected right hand. He had an X-ray for what was termed a contusion of the first metacarpal (knuckle) of his right hand. He's listed as day-to-day for the moment, but seems as if he has no chance to play Wednesday.

--DH Jose Vidro, who had gotten a little playing time at second base but otherwise hadn't played on defense, got his first start of the season at first base in place of 1B Richie Sexson, who is on the bench with a sore thumb

--Gary Thurman, who was the club's minor league outfield and base running coordinator, is the club's new first base coach, a position he will take up July 5. Until then, Johnny Moses will fill in as first base coach. Moses had been traveling with the club as an extra coach and batting practice pitcher.

--RHP Mark Lowe, who hasn't pitched since last August and who has had two elbow surgeries, started an injury-rehabilitation assignment with Class AAA Tacoma on Tuesday. He faced just four batters, striking out one while allowing two hits and a walk. RHP Chris Reitsma (sore right elbow) also pitched in the game, tossing two perfect innings.

--RHP Jon Huber threw on the side Tuesday, and the club will probably decide Wednesday if he needs to go out on an injury-rehabilitation assignment. He hasn't pitched in a game since June 7 due to an elbow injury.

BY THE NUMBERS: 414-412 -- Seattle's all-time record in June, the only winning month in club history.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "This team has given me everything I asked of them. I always wanted them to be there 100 percent physically and mentally, and without exception they've done that. What does it say about me if I can't give them the same? I have never had to work at getting that level myself ever, until recently. I've found that I've had to work harder in making that same commitment to my bosses, to my players and to my coaches. And that's not right." -- Mike Hargrove in resigning as manager of the Mariners Sunday.

ROSTER REPORT

MEDICAL WATCH:

1B Richie Sexson (sore right thumb) didn't play July 3 and probably will miss a few more games.

C Kenji Johjima (right hand contusion) left the July 4. He is listed as day-to-day, but he is unlikely to play July 4.

RHP Cha Seung Baek (shoulder) went on the disabled list retroactive to June 17.

RHP Chris Reitsma (sore right elbow) went on the disabled list June 11. He began a rehab assignment with Class AAA Tacoma on July 1.

RHP Jon Huber (elbow) went on the disabled list retroactive to June 7. He threw on the side July 3.

RHP Sean White (right biceps tendinitis) went on the disabled list June 2. He threw his first bullpen session June 27.

LHP Horacio Ramirez (left shoulder tightness) went on the disabled list May 25. He threw his first bullpen session June 19. He threw a 50-pitch simulated game June 25. He started an injury rehabilitation assignment June 30, pitching for Class AAA Tacoma. He's expected to make at least three rehab starts before being activated, so he's not likely to return until after the All-Star break.

RHP Mark Lowe (right elbow) had a second surgery on the elbow this spring, a move designed to remove scar tissue. He began a rehab assignment with Class AAA Tacoma on July 3.

LHP Arthur Rhodes (left elbow) went on the disabled list retroactive to April 1. He had Tommy John surgery on May 2, and he is out for the season.

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