PEORIA, Ariz. -- As a veteran of two Tommy John surgeries that have extended his pitching career now into a 15th season in the Major Leagues, Mariners left-hander Randy Wolf believes he owes a debt of gratitude to Dr. Frank Jobe, the man who invented the procedure in which a torn ligament in the elbow is replaced with a tendon.
Jobe, 88, died on Thursday, and his passing was felt across baseball, particularly among pitching staffs filled with veterans who have benefited from Tommy John surgeries.
"I actually saw him three days a week for probably 11 or 12 months [during his most recent rehab last year]," said Wolf, who is trying to land a job with the Mariners this spring after sitting out all last season. "He'd come to the physical therapy area at the Kerlan-Jobe [Orthopaedic Clinic] in Los Angeles. He was just a great guy.
"It's really sad, because in the past year there are two very special people at the Kerlan-Jobe clinic that passed away with Dr. [Lewis] Yocum and Dr. Jobe. Both were just really kind people. Dr. Jobe always talked to me, and I remember he was talking about how well I was doing in therapy and he said he'd put in a good word for me with the Dodgers. He just seemed like a genuinely nice human being."
Wolf is one of a handful of Mariners pitchers coming back from Tommy John surgeries. Scott Baker, Joe Beimel and Zach Miner, all veterans of the procedure, sit side by side in the team's Spring Training clubhouse.
Wolf said Jobe and others deserve places in the National Baseball Hall of Fame for what they do.
"It's sad when somebody like that passes, but he lived a long, great life and left a mark on this game," said Wolf. "I think it's great they're starting to recognize the physicians part of this game. Dr. Jobe, Dr. Yocum, Dr. [James] Andrews, Dr. [Tim] Kremchek, all these doctors that keep guys like me in the game, they changed the game possibly more than anybody because you could go around these clubhouses and just check scars on elbows and see that guys are still pitching because of that.
"I've said for a few years I'd like to see these physicians that keep guys in the game get plaques. They deserve to have a place in the Hall of Fame where they get the recognition they deserve."
Baker said he never worked with Jobe, but he was well aware of his impact.
"I saw Dr. Andrews, and Dr. [David] Altchek did my surgery. But you know who he is, even going back to early on in baseball, you'd hear about the Jobe program, the [rotator] cuff weight exercises he was so famous for. He was definitely an innovator in a game that has always kind of been behind the other sports in preventative things. I think he was ahead of his time for sure."
"There are definitely guys that have blazed trails, and he was one of them," Baker said. "To a certain extent, we can all be thankful for a guy like Frank Jobe."
Cano out again following root canal surgery
PEORIA, Ariz. -- New Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano got off to a fast start this spring, but the club's prize free-agent signee missed his third straight game on Saturday as he continues recovering from root canal surgery.
Cano, 31, had the surgery on Wednesday afternoon and hasn't played or practiced since, though he was at the facility on Saturday studying film and doing other work.
"He's still a little swollen, a little drugged up," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "He's better. My guess is there's an outside chance he'll play [Sunday]. I doubt it. More than likely he'll do a light workout and some biking and stuff like that and swing in the cage. But we'll see how he's feeling."
The Mariners host the Rangers at 1:05 p.m. PT on Sunday at Peoria Stadium, then have split-squad games on Monday, with an afternoon game against the Royals in Peoria and a night game against the D-backs at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale.
Cano seems most likely to return for one of the Monday games.
"That's what I'm leaning toward, but we'll see how the next 24 hours go," said McClendon.
The five-time All-Star is hitting .500 (6-for-12) with a walk, three runs scored and three RBIs in his first five Cactus League games.
LoMo helps promote 'Strike Out Cancer' fundraiser
PEORIA, Ariz. -- When Cardinals reliever Jason Motte began recruiting Major League players to help promote his "Strike Out Cancer" T-shirt fundraiser this spring, new Mariners first baseman Logan Morrison didn't need to think twice.
Morrison's father, Tom, died of lung cancer in 2010, two months after Logan completed his rookie season with the Marlins. He has since developed his own LoMo Camp for the Cure during offseasons with proceeds going to the American Lung Association, and he'll gladly chip in with Motte's fundraiser, which is being promoted by the MLB Players Association.
"My dad passing away from lung cancer gives me a personal attachment to the cause," Morrison said. "They wanted a volunteer from each team, and I was more than happy to do it.
"It's good to spread the word and get the awareness out there," he said. "Cancer can affect anybody. You don't have to do anything bad to your body for it to affect you. My dad was a non-smoker and he got lung cancer. He thought he had a cold the whole time. He ended up feeling like he was having a heart attack, went into the emergency room and three days later they found out it was Stage 4 and he only lived six more months. It can jump up on you."
Morrison, 26, grew up playing catch and having his dad throw batting practice to him in Kansas City. He said that influence and those memories will never wane as he's dedicated his career to his father.
"Every day, every pitch," he said. "When I'm out there, I don't take anything for granted. I'm trying to play the way he taught me to play and that's all out and hard, staying focused. Even when I work and practice, whether it's taking ground balls every day or fly balls in the outfield or swinging in the cage, all those things were a product of what he taught me.
"The most important thing I took from him was a work ethic, showing up every day, being accountable, all those things that he got from the military. I'm probably not as disciplined as he was," Morrison said with a smile, "but I couldn't be luckier than to have a dad like him and I got 22 years to spend with him."
The T-shirts feature a backward K over the word "cancer" and will be made in every team color this season. Once the shirts are available, $5 from each sale will go to Motte's foundation and $5 to the player's charity of choice from each team. Morrison said he hasn't finalized his charity choice, but thinks it will be the Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
A red version of the T-shirts can be seen on the www.108stitches.com website, and Motte's foundation website is www.jasonmottefoundation.org.
• Mariners right-hander Taijuan Walker took the day off from throwing Saturday, but he will resume playing long toss on Sunday as he continues working his way back from a sore right shoulder that sidelined him for a week. There's no exact timetable on his return, but barring setbacks, the 21-year-old will eventually progress to bullpen work and then live batting practice before he begins pitching in games.
"The trainer tells me he's feeling good," McClendon said. "It was good to see him with a smile on his face. All indications are he's fine."
• Third baseman D.J. Peterson, the Mariners' first-round pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, continues getting some Cactus League time as one of several players called up from Minor League camp to help fill in. Peterson was in the starting lineup for Saturday night's game against the Dodgers after hitting a home run and going 2-for-3 in Friday's loss to the Reds.
"Get his feet wet a little bit. It's an opportunity to show what he can do," McClendon said. "This kid isn't going to make the club. But it's not bad to get kids over here and see what they can do."
• With the clocks being moved ahead to Daylight Saving Time in most places on Sunday morning, game times in Peoria will now be the same as Seattle for the rest of spring since Arizona doesn't change its time. Until now, Arizona was an hour ahead of Pacific Time.
• Felix Hernandez will make his second start of the spring on Sunday in a 1:05 p.m. game against the Rangers. Then it'll be Brandon Maurer vs. the Royals at 1:05 p.m. on Monday, and James Paxton against the D-backs on Monday at 7:05 p.m. in split-squad action.
• Scott Baker is scheduled to throw Tuesday against the Angels in Tempe, Randy Wolf on Wednesday night against the Cubs and Hernandez will come back on Friday to face the Rockies. The starter for Thursday's game with the D-backs is still to be determined.
• Single-game tickets for all Mariners home games went on sale Saturday morning and are now available for all 81 regular-season contests at Safeco Field, including the home opener on April 8 against the Angels.