Bedard's final rehab start could be Thursday

Bedard's final rehab start could be Thursday

NEW YORK -- The Mariners end their three-game series against the Yankees on Thursday afternoon, but there will be much more than a passing interest in a game being played that night in Tacoma, Wash.

Left-hander Erik Bedard makes what could be his final rehab start before rejoining the Mariners.

Mariners pitching coach Rick Adair spoke to Bedard via phone on Wednesday, and, according to manager Don Wakamatsu, "[Bedard] is ready to go and pretty excited. We're just as excited."

The lefty is slated to throw between 75 and 80 pitches.

"If this outing goes well, his pitch count goes up and there are not problems, we're looking at starting him against Kansas City on Tuesday [at Safeco Field]."

"I've been hoping for that all year," general manager Jack Zduriencik said. "It will be good. We're excited. He's feeling great."

The Mariners re-signed Bedard to a one-year, incentive-laden contract in February that has a $1.5 million base salary. The hope back then was that the team would be in the thick of the American League West race at the All-Star break and a healthy Bedard would provide a Trade Deadline-like addition.