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Coach called up to pitch in for Mariners

Coach called up to pitch in for Mariners

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DETROIT -- It is common practice for the Mariners to have at least one of the organization's Minor League coaches spend part of September with the big league team.

That philosophy is being used a little earlier this year.

First-base coach Lee Tinsley left the team on Wednesday morning to return to Scottsdale, Ariz., to be with his wife, who delivered their daughter, Nia, on Tuesday night.

Instead of replacing Tinsley with someone currently on the big league coaching staff, the Mariners summoned Tim Tolman, the organization's Minor League coordinator of instruction.

Manager Don Wakamatsu said the choice to bring in Tolman was twofold.

"I like to keep guys in the roles they are doing without having to subtract," Wakamatsu said. "It's a little premature, but normally in September you will bring other coaches up. It's such a long season that you don't get a chance to see them."

Tolman, in his first season with the Mariners after serving as the Nationals' third-base coach for two seasons, had just returned to his home in Oro Valley, Ariz., after spending a week with Class A High Desert when the phone rang.

He packed his bags, drove to Phoenix and caught a red-eye flight to Detroit, landing at about 5:30 a.m. ET.

"We just spent an hour with him talking about the Minor League season," Wakamatsu said. "He'll be with us through this road trip and probably a couple of days after we get home, and Lee will rejoin us Monday in Seattle.

"It's a great opportunity for Tim, and it's always helpful for Minor League coaches to be able to come up and see what's going on with the Major League club. This also will give him a chance to see some fruits of his labor, with guys like [Michael] Saunders."

Tolman, 53, is a University of Southern California product, selected as the Pac-10 Player of the Year in 1977 and a member of the Trojans' College World Series championship team.

Wakamatsu also said on Wednesday that third baseman Adrian Beltre still has not recovered well enough to allow him to join the team in Cleveland on Friday.

Beltre, who has not used a protective cup for virtually his entire career, suffered a severely contused right testicle last Wednesday when hit by a ground ball.

Surgery has been ruled out and Beltre tentatively is scheduled to resume baseball-related activities on Friday.

"The swelling still hasn't gone down at all, which is normal for that kind of injury, but he will stay back [in Seattle] and get some work in. If he can get four or five days of work in, that would make him ready to be activated next Friday."

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

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