Notes: Mariners review alcohol policy

Notes: Mariners review alcohol policy

DETROIT -- Beer in the clubhouses at Safeco Field could become a thing of the past.

The current club policy, which makes the beverage available to the Mariners and visiting players, is "under review", according to assistant general manager Lee Pelekoudas.

Several Major League clubs, including the Yankees and Cardinals, banned beer from both clubhouses after St. Louis pitcher Josh Hancock was recently killed in a car accident. Hancock was intoxicated at the time of the accident.

Each big-league organization has been asked by MLB officials to re-examine its beer-in-the-clubhouse policy.

Pelekoudas, who is traveling with the team on its current road trip, said he was not sure when a final decision would be made, regarding Safeco Field. Beer was available to players from both teams when the Mariners ended their most recent homestand.

They return to Seattle on Thursday and play the Yankees in a three-game series beginning on Friday night.

Mariners player representative Willie Bloomquist hopes the current policy remains in effect.

"Personally, we're grown men and we should be able to make our own decisions," Bloomquist said Wednesday prior to the Mariners' rain-delayed game against the Tigers. "To have a decision based on someone not making a not-so-good decision and everyone suffering the consequences doesn't seem to be the right thing to do -- as tragic [as Hancock's death] was.

"Right or wrong, we're old enough to make our own decisions."

Bloomquist said he didn't think it was "that big of an issue, especially on the road. Most of the players ride the bus or take cabs to and from the park."

Thumbs up: It was raining at Comerica Park on Wednesday, but the sun was shining on right-hander Felix Hernandez.

He played catch with pitching coach Rafael Chaves for about 20 minutes and the ace right-hander had no problems the day following a three-inning simulated game.

"He said he felt good and he looked great," Chaves said.

All systems are go for Hernandez to have his regular bullpen session on Saturday, his final workout before returning to action Tuesday night at Safeco Field against the Angels.

No BS in JJ: Closer J.J. Putz is seven-for-seven in save situations this season and he's been relying on his fastball more than any other pitch.

Several fans have sent emails asking why Putz hasn't used his split-finger fastball as much this season as last, when he became the Mariners' closer in May and went on to record 36 saves.

"Why throw the splitter and speed up the batter's bat?" he asked.

Busy Kenji: Since becoming the Mariners' starting catcher last season, Kenji Johjima has caught more innings (1,367 2/3) than all but one receiver in the Major Leagues. Oakland's Jason Kendall has logged 1,510 2/3 innings over the same period.

No 'E' in Jose: Second baseman Jose Lopez is one of five American League players at his position playing flawless defense. He has fielded 126 chances without miscue through the Mariners' first 28 games.

On the farm: After starting the season batting .115 (3-for-26), Mike Morse has rebounded to hit .391 (34-for-87) to raise his batting average to .327 at Triple-A Tacoma. During the hot streak, he has hit safely in 19 of 23 games with 10 multi-hit games. Catcher Rob Johnson had a seven-game hitting streak end Tuesday night. He batted .346 during the streak. Rainiers outfielder Wladimir Balentien has hit safely in 27 of 31 games his has appeared this season, hitting .342 (41-for-120) with 19 R, 7 2B, 8 HR and 26 RBI. At Double-A West Tennessee, Jeff Frazier extended his hitting streak to a Southern League high 15 games on Tuesday. Also, Kam Mickolio has allowed no earned runs in his last 12 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out 14. . . . Infielder Prentice Redman was named the Southern League Player of the Week, April 30-May 7, going 9-for-22 with four home runs and seven RBIs.

On deck: The series and road trip ends with a Thursday afternoon game at Comerica Park with Mariners right-hander -- and former Tiger -- Jeff Weaver making his sixth attempt at his first win this season. He is coming off his best start of the season, holding the Yankees to one run over five innings before succumbing to a five-run sixth.

Jim Street is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.