Persistent snow in Cleveland kept every Seattle pitcher sidelined since last Wednesday. But for different reasons, Woods has not pitched in a game since April 3, when he tossed four innings during an exhibition game in Peoria, Ariz.
Woods said he was originally scheduled to start Monday night against Fresno, but he was moved up to Sunday's game against Sacramento when Jim Parque became ill. However, when Rhodes had to cut short to bullpen session in Cleveland on Sunday because of elbow soreness, Woods was scratched from his start.
He was supposed to join the team in Cleveland on Monday. When he landed at Hopkins International, he was told the scheduled doubleheader against the Indians had been postponed and he was to continue on to Boston.
"After about a two-hour layover, I caught the next flight out," he said.
While he was sitting idle in sunny California, Woods kept track of the Mariners' plight in Cleveland. All four games of the series were snowed out.
"You'll probably never see something like that happen again," he said.
Woods, 25, was one of Seattle's final cuts this spring after posting a 0-0, 2.57 ERA in eight appearances, including two starts. He allowed four earned runs in 14 innings this spring with two walks and 10 strikeouts.
He had a 7-4 record and 4.20 ERA in 37 games last season.
The 37-year-old Rhodes was invited to camp as a non-roster player and earned a spot on the 25-man Opening Day roster with a strong spring. He finished with a 2.57 ERA and started the season as a late-inning specialist.
He did not pitch in the Mariners' three-game series against the Athletics.
"His elbow came up sore six or seven pitches into his bullpen," manager Mike Hargrove said. "It happened earlier in Spring Training and just came back."
Lefty George Sherrill probably will handle most of the late-inning situational duties that he was going to share with Rhodes. Woods mostly likely would be used earlier in games.
Back in the swing:
There was a definite fear of the unknown going into the series opener against the Red Sox. Except for injuries, none of the Mariners players ever had gone four days during a regular season without playing.
"We couldn't get outside, so we had to do all of our hitting inside in the cages [at Jacobs Field on] Sunday and Monday," Hargrove said.
"Getting the engines re-fired is not going to be a problem. These guys have been ready to play when we were in Cleveland. It's a just a matter of seeing live pitching again after having four days off."
As of Tuesday, makeup dates for the games missed against the Indians have not been determined.
"We will have some say in it, but it's one of those things that is going to be what it's going to be," Hargrove said. "We'll deal with it when it comes up."
Vidro not worried:
Designated hitter Jose Vidro went into Tuesday's series opener against the Red Sox with just one hit in 11 at-bats this season, but the usually hot-starting switch-hitter said he feels good about his swing and his new position.
"Everything is fine," he said. "I'm still getting used to the time between my at-bats, trying to figure out the best routine. It's a lot different now than in Spring Training."
Vidro had more Cactus League at-bats than anyone on the team, going 23-for-71, and was more than ready when the regular season started. He singled in his second at-bat on Opening Day but is hitless in his last nine at-bats.
And that is unusual.
The .301 career hitter usually comes out of the blocks like a world-class sprinter.
He had hits in 10 of his first 11 games last season and finished April with a .344 batting average. He hit safely in 11 of his first 13 games in 2005, batting .314, and had at least one hit in seven of his first eight games in '04.
Vidro started his 11th Major League season with a .308 (234-for-760) career batting average in April.
The three-game series continues Wednesday at 4:05 p.m. PT with a must-see game at Fenway Park featuring right-handed starters Felix Hernandez and Daisake Matsuzaka. Thanks to steady snow in Cleveland, Hernandez has not pitched since Opening Day, when he shut out the Athletics over eight innings and struck out a career-high 12. This is Matsuzaka's home debut.