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Mariners notes: Peguero to get his chance

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By Larry LaRue
The News Tribune
The Seattle Mariners might have a number of injured players coming back after the All-Star break -- Franklin Gutierrez, Mike Carp, Erasmo Ramirez -- but for the next few days, the team will be looking at outfielder Carlos Peguero.
Brought up from Class AAA Tacoma on Thursday, Peguero started in right field Friday, and manager Eric Wedge made it clear he wanted to see the 25-year-old. "We're going to try to get him in as much as we can," Wedge said.
Well, that would be over the final three games before the All-Star break, which begins Monday. After the break? Wedge wouldn't promise Peguero would stick with the team beyond the break.
"We've got Gutierrez (concussion) and Carp (shoulder strain), who'll be coming back, we've got an extra man in the bullpen right now and Erasmo Ramirez will miss the first start after the break, then rejoin the rotation," Wedge said.
Simply put, Peguero needs a hot series to stay.
On Friday, Ichiro Suzuki was the designated hitter, with Casper Wells in left field, Michael Saunders in center and Peguero in right.
In 49 games with AAA Tacoma, Peguero batted .295 with 18 home runs and 41 RBI -- the kind of production the Mariners dream about.
"I've been working with (batting coach) Jeff Pentland, hitting off a tee ever day," Peguero said. "I'm more patient at the plate. I work on hitting pitches in the strike zone, not every pitch the pitcher throws.
"I have a lot of expectations, a lot of confidence. I feel ready to be here."
For at least the next few days.
Montero feeling better
Catcher Jesus Montero came out of the Mariners' game Wednesday with a mild concussion, taking a foul ball off his catchers mask -- and if it had been up to him, he'd probably have played Friday.
It wasn't.
"I feel better, thank God," Montero said.
Asked if Montero were close, Wedge shook his head.
"He's closer," Wedge said. "It's not as bad as Gutierrez, but this isn't something you rush."
Short hops
Relief pitcher Stephen Pryor, on the disabled list with a groin strain, threw a simulated game Friday and will report to the Mariners' Class A team in California. He'll get work there, then likely return to Tacoma if not Seattle within a few weeks. ... Gutierrez is eligible to come off the seven-day disabled list but is still experiencing dizziness, Wedge said. ... If it weren't for home games, third baseman Kyle Seager almost certainly would have been an All-Star. In his first 38 road games, Seager batted .316 with eight home runs and 33 RBI. ... Seattle's offense leads the American League in one category -- a .302 pinch-hitting average. The only time a Mariners team has finished with a higher pinch-hitting average over a full season? The M's batted .320 in 2001. ... Wedge said after the All-Star break, pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma will be in the starting rotation, at least until Ramirez returns.
Story tags » Mariners

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