Mariners take unexpected day off in stride

Mariners take unexpected day off in stride

PEORIA, Ariz. -- If there is such a thing as a good time to have a game rained out, Sunday was it.

Another storm doused the area, canceling the Mariners' Cactus League game against the Padres at Peoria Stadium.

"We are backing up the pitching, but we're in good shape, actually," manager Don Wakamatsu said. "It doesn't affect us a whole lot."

The primary reason is because the Mariners have a split-squad doubleheader on Monday and the weather forecast is promising. While one Seattle team is playing the Brewers in Phoenix, the other will be taking on the White Sox in Glendale.

Left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith was scheduled to make his first start of the spring on Sunday but will now debut against the White Sox.

Left-hander Ryan Feierabend, who missed all of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in his left elbow, is slated to follow Rowland-Smith and pitch one inning.

Right-hander Doug Fister, one of four candidates for the fifth spot in the rotation, will start against the Brewers.

"I want to watch Milwaukee, because this is the only time we play them [in Spring Training], and we play them during the [regular season]," Wakamatsu said of the three-game Interleague series at Miller Park from June 25-27.

The rainout also gave some of Seattle's walking wounded another day to recover.

Shortstop Jack Wilson, who tweaked his right hamstring on Friday, was questionable on Sunday but "should be in there [on Monday]," Wakamatsu said.

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Center fielder Franklin Gutierrez, slowed by a sore right shoulder, was supposed to play his first game on Sunday. Instead he will debut on Monday.

"He's good to go and probably will play two days in a row," Wakamatsu said.

In addition, right-handed closer David Aardsma (slightly strained muscle near his right groin) is tentatively scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Monday, while catcher Rob Johnson, who backed off a bit after experiencing some discomfort in his surgically repaired hips, could make his first spring appearance in the middle of the week.

Though the designated hitter rule normally is not used in National League parks, the Brewers have waived it, and both teams will use the DH on Monday.

Despite the rainout, the Mariners were able to work out. The hitters took their cuts in the covered batting cages and the pitchers -- including ace right-hander Felix Hernandez -- threw their normal bullpen sessions.

"We also have an opportunity to review a bunch of signs during our meetings," Wakamatsu added.

Sunday's game, which will not be rescheduled, is the first canceled game in Peoria since March 11, 2006.

Fans holding tickets for the game may exchange them for any remaining home Spring Training games at the Peoria Stadium Box Office. Exchange is subject to availability and valid for the current Cactus League season.

Tickets bought at the box office can also be mailed in for a refund. Send them to Peoria Sports Complex, Attn.: Ticket Refunds, 16101 N. 83rd Ave, Suite 2, Peoria, Ariz. 85382. No refunds will be issued at the the box office windows.

Tickets bought by phone or online, should be mailed to Tickets.com, Attn.: Ticket Refunds, P.O. Box 6266, Concord, Calif. 94524-1266. Fans should include the original ticket(s), as well as their name, address and daytime phone number. It is also suggested that fans keep a copy of the tickets for their records.

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