BY SPNW Staff 04:03PM 04/01/2012

Vargas starts Friday, Felix set for home opener

Mariners set pitching rotation for return to the regular season Friday; Carp shoulder injury not serious, should be ready for April 13 home opener.

Mariners starter Jason Vargas gave up three solo homers in 5-0 loss to Texas Thursday. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

Lefty Jason Vargas will make the start Friday when when the Mariners resume the regular season in Oakland, setting up Felix Hernandez to make the home opener April 13 against the A’s.

Hernandez will pitch Saturday in Oakland. After a rare off day Sunday, the Mariners play four in Texas against the defending American League champions. Newcomer Hector Noesi will open against the Rangers, followed by former Rangers Blake Beavan Tuesday and Kevin Millwood Wednesday before Vargas gets his third start of the season Thursday, April 12.

Hernandez and Vargas were in top form last week in Tokyo against the A’s. Hernandez Wednesday gave upĀ  five hits, one run and struck out six over eight innings and 94 pitches in a 3-1 win over the A’s, followed by Vargas Thursday with one run and three hits in 6.1. innings in a 4-1 loss.

The flip of the top two pitchers had to do with the ability to have throw days in the remaining exhibition season in Arizona and avoid a longer layoff because of the trip to Japan, according to pitching coach Carl Willis, who said the home opener was not a factor.

“It kind of presents our best option of keeping them both as sharp as possible without the ability to have them both pitch in a game,” Willis told reporters Sunday morning, after which the Mariners, erupting for six runs in the sixth inning, beat the Kansas City Royals 6-4, in which Beavan gave up four runs on seven hits in 5.2 innings.

Hernandez is scheduled to pitch Monday against ex-Mariner Jamie Moyer, who at 49 became the oldest pitcher to make a roster when the Colorado Rockies named him their No. 2 starter over the weekend.

In other personnel news, several Mariners were reported not feeling well after their nine-hour return flight Friday from Japan, including second baseman Dustin Ackley, who was sent home early.

“I think we’ll have enough time here where we’ll be on track,” said manager Eric Wedge. “We have a lot of young kids who are pretty resilient.”

The Mariners played a split-squad game Saturday against San Diego, which they won 6-1 with a roster entirely of prospects who didn’t make the Japan trip. The only veteran was Millwood, the starting pitcher, who also stayed home. He gave up one run and five hits over seven innings and 97 pitches, striking out eight.

Left fielder Mike Carp, who sprained his right shoulder Wednesday diving for a ball in Tokyo, was told he had no structural damage after an MRI. He was put on the 15-day disabled list March 29, but because of the return to spring training, it’s possible Carp will miss only a half-dozen games and be ready for the April 13 home opener.

In ex-Mariners news, Michael Pineda was placed on the New York Yankees’ 15-day disabled list with shoulder tendon inflammation. Not structural damage was reported.

Pineda showed up to camp 20 pounds overweight. He had a 5.58 spring ERA with 18 strikeouts and 10 walks.

In the off-season’s most talked-about trade, Pineda was dealt for catcher/DH Jesus Montero, who had a single in seven at-bats in Japan and Sunday had an RBI single against Kansas City. He’s hitting .282 with 12 RBIs.

Seattle Mariners 2012 Roster

# Pitchers B/T Ht Wt DOB Hometown
49 Blake Beavan R-R 6-7 240 17-Jan-89 Irving, TX.
35 Steve Delabar R-R 6-5 220 17-Jul-83 Fort Knox, KY
41 Charlie Furbush L-L: 6-5 215 11-Apr-86 Portland, ME
34 Felix Hernandez R-R 6-3 230 8-Apr-86 Valenciz, VZ
18 Hisashi Iwakuma R-R 6-3 190 12-Apr-81 Tokyo, Japan
23 Shawn Kelley R-R 6-2 220 26-Apr-84 Louisville, KY
43 Brandon League R-R 6-2 210 16-Mar-83 Sacramento, CA.
25 Kevin Millwood R-R 6-2 210 16-Mar-83 Sacramento, CA.
44 Lucas Luetge L-L 6-4 205 24-Mar-87 Brenham, TX.
45 Hector Noesi R-R 6-3 200 26-Jan-87 Valverde, DR
50 Erasmo Ramirez R-R 6-0 180 29-Apr-76 Santa Ana, CA.
52 George Sherrill L-L 6-0 225 19-Apr-77 Memphis, TN.
38 Jason Vargas L-L 6-0 215 2-Feb-83 Apple Valley, CA.
54 Tom Wilhelmsen R-R 6-6 230 16-Dec-83 Tucson, AZ.
# Catchers B/T Ht Wt DOB Hometown
27 John Jaso L-R 6-2 205 19-Sep-83 Chula Vista, CA.
63 Jesus Montero R-R 6-3 235 28-Nov-89 Carabob, VZ
30 Miguel Olivo R-R 6-3 230 15-Jul-78 Villa Vasquez, DR
# Infielders B/T Ht Wt DOB Hometown
13 Dustin Ackley L-R 6-1 190 26-Feb-88 Winston-Salem, N.C.
9 Chone Figgins S-R 5-9 180 22-Jan-78 Leary, GA.
61 Munenori Kawasaki S-R 5-10 165 3-Jun-81 Kagoshima, JP
16 Alex Liddi R-R 6-4 230 14-Aug-88 San Remo, Italy
26 Brendan Ryan R-R 6-2 195 26-Mar-82 Los Angeles, CA.
15 Kyle Seager L-R 6-0 195 3-Nov-87 Charlotte, N.C.
17 Justin Smoak S-L 6-4 230 5-Dec-86 Goose Creek, SC.
# Outfielders B/T Ht Wt DOB Hometown
20 ^Mike Carp L-R 6-2 210 30-Jun-86 Long Beach, CA.
20 Carlos Peguero L-L 6-5 245 22-Feb-87 Hondo Valle, DR
55 Michael Saunders L-R 6-4 215 19-Nov-86 Victoria, B.C.
51 Ichiro Suzuki L-R 5-11 170 22-Oct-73 Kobe, Japan
33 Casper Wells R-R 6-2 210 11-Nov-84 Grand Rapids, MI

*=Non-roster invitee; ^=15-day disabled list


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