Bedard expects to return Tuesday

Mariners' Bedard expects quick return

BALTIMORE -- Erik Bedard said he knew when he climbed out of bed on Saturday that he probably would not be making his scheduled start against the Orioles on Sunday afternoon.

"The first thing that enters your mind when you wake up and don't feel right is that you might not be able to pitch," the Mariners left-hander said Sunday morning. "But the way I feel right now, I will start on Tuesday."

The Mariners, who already have lost closer J.J. Putz for at least two weeks with a rib injury, could ill-afford to lose Bedard for any length of time. That doesn't appear to be the case.

"[Bedard] feels a lot better," manager John McLaren said. "He's getting treatment and he will have a little side session [in the bullpen] and see how he feels and will know where we are as far as Tuesday. But he seems to be 100 percent better and that's a positive."

Bedard went into the visiting manager's office when he arrived at the park on Sunday morning, and volunteered to start that afternoon. But other plans already had been made and the Mariners wanted to make sure the lefty was healthy before putting him in a game.

After the Mariners' 3-2 loss, McLaren said that Bedard's bullpen session, which lasted about six minutes, went well and all systems are go for Tuesday night's start against the Rays.

The biggest negative about being pushed back two days is the fact Seattle now will have left-handers going back-to-back against the Rays. Plans were made in Spring Training to make sure Bedard and Jarrod Washburn didn't start games in the same series.

"We'll break them up the first chance we get," McLaren said.

Bedard said he doesn't know exactly what happened to cause the inflammation in his left hip area, but a similar ailment in 2001 was "much worse" than this one.

"That one hurt a lot worse," he said.

Bedard's second start of the season was supposed to be against his former team, but he wasn't exactly disconsolate.

Asked by a Baltimore reporter if he was disappointed not to start Sunday's game, he said, "Not really. I'll probably face them soon enough. We play them again in a couple of weeks."

The Orioles make the first of their two visits to Safeco Field on April 22-24. Assuming Bedard makes his next start, Tuesday night against the Rays, and pitches every fifth day after that, he would start the series finale against Baltimore.

The way things are set now, Bedard's second start with the Mariners will be on another Opening Day. The Rays play their home opener Tuesday night, prompting Bedard to quip: "Well, there should be a lot of people there. Usually, there aren't that many at [Rays] games. I'll try to keep them quiet."

Bedard's started in front of a sellout crowd on Opening Day at Safeco Field, surrendering one run over five innings in Seattle's eventual victory over the Rangers.

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