SEATTLE -- Right-handed closer Brandon Morrow should return to the Mariners bullpen on Saturday night, when he's eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list, manager Don Wakamatsu said on Tuesday. "He threw a bullpen yesterday, and there were no problems," Wakamatsu said during his pregame media session. "We'll probably throw another one in Kansas City and should be ready to go in that series against Minnesota." Morrow was placed on the 15-day disabled list last Saturday with biceps tendinitis. The move was retroactive to April 24, the day after he pitched the ninth inning against the Rays at Safeco Field and notched his fifth save of the season.
Morrow experienced some discomfort in his arm two days later while throwing in the bullpen, an ailment that he said was identical to one he had early last season. The right-hander was confident that the discomfort would go away in a matter of days and was surprised -- and disappointed -- when the organization decided to put him on the DL. The Mariners have had one save in his absence, on April 25 when right-hander David Aardsma picked up his third save in a 9-8 victory over the Angels in Anaheim. Aardsma and rookie Shawn Kelley are handling the closing chores until Morrow returns. In other health-related news, left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith (triceps tendinitis) threw on the side prior to Tuesday's game and probably will pitch a simulated game in Texas next week after at least two more bullpen sessions. "He's feeling really good," Wakamatsu said, "but it will take some time to get him back into starting shape." A rehab stint in the Minor Leagues looms for Rowland-Smith, who has not pitched in a game situation since April 10, when he started against the Athletics. Versatile backup Ronny Cedeno is back to 100 percent after battling a sore right hamstring for the past 12 games.
"He was going to pinch-run last night," Wakamatsu said. "He'll definitely play on this road trip coming up."The Mariners open a three-city, eight-game road trip on Wednesday in Kansas City, facing the Royals in a two-game set before three-game series against the Twins and Rangers.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.