BY SPNW Staff 06:11PM 07/09/2014

Tom Wilhelmsen to start Thursday vs. Minnesota

Mariner manager Lloyd McClendon made an intriguing, although not entirely unexpected, decision with respect to his pitching rotation Wednesday. Long reliever Tom Wilhelmsen, once the club’s closer, will start Thursday against the Minnesota Twins in the finale of a four-game series at Safeco Field.

Wilhelmsen has never started a game at the major league level and started only twice in the minor leagues, most recently at A Clinton in the Midwest League in 2010. With the All-Star game nearing and McClendon free to burn through is bullpen, he is expected to follow Wilhelmsen with a string of relievers.

That will give Felix Hernandez an extra day off so he can pitch the opener of a three-game series against the division-leading Oakland Athletics Friday night at Safeco Field.

McClendon’s plan was disclosed after Taijuan Walker was sent to AAA Tacoma and promoted reliever Stephen Wednesday. Sending out Walker will enable him to pitch on regular rest through the All-Star break and remain on schedule to return for a start July 22 against the New York Mets.

After Hernandez pitches Friday, he will have four days off before the All-Star Game Tuesday in Minneapolis. With Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka going on the disabled list Wednesday with a sore elbow, Hernandez is expected to start. Hernandez will be making his fifth All-Star appearance.


  • Bayview Herb

    What’s up with the musical chairs in the Root tv booth? Have they finally figured out that two jocks in the booth that entertain each other wasn’t such a good idea?

    • RadioGuy

      We don’t get ROOT because we’re on the cheapie Dish package. What’s the story?

      • Bayview Herb

        Suddenly, the Sims/Blowers duo has been interrupted. The last two games, Sims moved to the radio side with Blowers hosting two different play-by-play announcers. I can’t imagine life without Root. MG.

        • RadioGuy

          Interesting. You’d have thought they’d try bringing Ken Wilson in from Portland (think he still lives there) to fill in on radio and keeping Sims on ROOT. Think I’d read somewhere that Rizzs was gone for a time so maybe Sims was on the radio side to cover.
          I’m generally not a fan of either two PBP guys or two ex-players only working the booth together…I prefer one of each, but you get what you get.

          As for Wilhemsen starting, it only makes sense if they’re showcasing him for a trade because it hasn’t been that long since Maurer started a game and he would seem the better pick for a spot start. I guess we’ll see.