SEATTLE -- To make room for left-hander Erik Bedard, Jack Cust was designated for assignment on Friday afternoon before Bedard and the Mariners faced the Rays in the series opener.
It would have made sense to send down right-hander Blake Beavan, the pitcher who had filled in for Bedard since July 3. But the Mariners opted to designate Cust instead of the 22-year-old Beavan, who has been impressive with a 1-2 record and 3.04 ERA in four starts.
Mariners manager Eric Wedge hinted at the possibility of going with six starters, and that he didn't want to send someone out and not be able to bring him back for 10 days.
"There's always a possibility of that," Wedge said of the six-man rotation. "When you talk about guys that are pitching this year and you got some youth, I don't think there's quite the necessity to push Felix [Hernandez] like he was last year and like we did early on this year. Obviously, with [Michael] Pineda being a younger pitcher, we got to draw it out. It's always a possibility for us."
Wedge said he's managed a six-man rotation in his career for those reasons. The skipper, in his first year with Seattle, also repeated the phrase "keeping your options open" in his pregame session with the media on Friday.
"The fact of the matter is, you got to look beyond today," he said. "There's nothing more important than today's game, but having said that, you got to pay attention to tomorrow, to next week, to next month, even next year.
"We are going through a lot here in a short period of time -- some good, some not so good, some really good, some really bad -- but all that is going to be a part of who we ultimately end up being as a Major League club and as an organization. So, yeah, for us to keep flexibility and keep our options open, I think that can only be a plus for what we're trying to do."