PEORIA, Ariz. -- Brendan Ryan didn't seem any worse for wear Thursday afternoon while roaming around the clubhouse with the usual spring to his step.
It was a good sign for the Mariners shortstop, who left Wednesday night's game with what manager Eric Wedge said Thursday was just a small tweak to his quadriceps muscle in his leg. Wedge held Ryan out of the lineup for Thursday's night game against San Francisco and added that Ryan probably wouldn't play Friday, either. But the hope is that he would be back Saturday when the Mariners take on White Sox.
"It's a lot better today," Wedge said Thursday. "With such a sporadic schedule -- you're here until the 21st, couple days off, practice, couple games, day off, real games, and then when they travel back, you've got five or six more days -- you want to make sure we still have time to ramp them up when we get back, but the No. 1 issue is to make sure we keep them healthy, especially Brendan, who has had so many issues with his body."
Wedge said he's loved what he's seen this spring from Ryan on both sides of the ball.
"He's looked great out there [at shortstop], and he's looked great at home plate, too," Wedge said. "I think he's ready. We just need to keep him healthy."
Mariners face tough schedule before trip
PEORIA, Ariz. -- There's no rest for the weary. There might be even less rest for the Mariners.
The Seattle club gathered Thursday afternoon in the clubhouse at the Peoria Sports Complex with only one week remaining in Arizona before boarding a large airplane for Japan and more games -- two exhibitions against Japanese clubs and the regular-season-opening two-game set against the Oakland A's in the Tokyo Dome.
Plus there's a particularly grueling Cactus League slate ahead of them before they even get on the tarmac.
The Mariners played a "B"game Thursday morning against the White Sox in Glendale, and they were set to play the San Francisco Giants at home Thursday night, marking their second night game in two days. And they were gearing up for a busy Friday in which they'd split squads, head about 125 miles south to Tucson to play the Brewers, and then suit up for yet another night game, at home against the A's.
Manager Eric Wedge and the rest of the coaching staff are now saddled with having to make key roster decisions most likely by the weekend. The team will take 30 players to Tokyo and must cut the roster down to 25 by March 28, when Seattle plays its first regular-season game.
The skipper said he liked the fact that he will get to watch so much baseball over the next few games. That's why he wouldn't announce any cuts Thursday.
"We just want to get through today and tomorrow, but obviously, after that, we're going to have to thin it out," Wedge said Thursday. "We'll get all these baseball games in this week, see as many innings and see as many guys as we can go out there and pitch and play.
"We're working through everything right now. It's a big decision week. I've got somewhat of an idea of what I think we're looking at, but I still want to give everybody every opportunity here in the next couple three days to get out and pitch, and once we get to the final three or four before we get on a plane, we've got to extend our starters, both from a pitching standpoint and a position player standpoint."
Wedge said Opening Day starter Felix Hernandez will pitch in Tucson on Friday and then get ready for Japan with bullpen sessions. No. 2 starter Jason Vargas, who is in line to pitch the second game against the A's in Tokyo, will throw a simulated game.
Kawasaki, Figgins shine in 'B' game
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mariners manager Eric Wedge liked what he saw in the team's Thursday-morning "B" game, and a lot of it came from two guys who were playing different positions.
Wedge started Munenori Kawasaki at third base and Chone Figgins at second in the game against the White Sox at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, and the duo teamed up for a nice 5-4-3 double play. Kawasaki added a home run and a single and drove in two runs. Figgins got on base twice with a single and a walk.
"We needed to get those guys there," Wedge said of trying out Kawasaki and Figgins at those positions. "I'm not sure how often that's going to happen, but I wanted to get those guys there at least once, and they both looked pretty comfortable."
John Jaso caught all 8 1/2 innings of the game, which the Mariners won, 4-3, and also homered. Right-hander Jeff Marquez got the start for Seattle and pitched three scoreless innings, giving up two hits while striking out three. Closer Brandon League pitched two innings, giving up one run on two hits and striking out three. Lefty Charlie Furbush also pitched two innings, giving up two runs on five hits while striking out five.
Wedge said injured outfielder Franklin Gutierrez (pectoral tear) and Adam Moore (loose bone chip in wrist) are doing "really well" in their rehabilitation. "There's no timetable on [a return for either player] yet, but everybody's really happy with their progress."
The Mariners manager could only smile when asked how his coaching staff is holding up through this unusually long spring and if they've had a day off. "They're not allowed to get one," Wedge said with a chuckle. "They're doing great. It's been a long spring and a lot of long days, but it's part of it, and they're all for it. Hey, we're here to play baseball, we're here to help these guys move along and get better. ... This is what we do, and we're proud to do it."
Wedge said he would get Figgins a start in left field soon, and he said it's possible that Figgins' ability to play center field and left might allow the Mariners to alter their roster construction and go a bit lighter on outfielders. "It could, but I don't want it to," Wedge said. "I don't see that transition being difficult for him, but just to get him out there and see that angle and get a feel for it.''