Randy Johnson to kick off Mariners home season - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Seattle Mariners

Randy Johnson to kick off Mariners home season

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SEATTLE - Recently retired Mariners star Randy Johnson will throw out the ceremonial first pitch Monday before Seattle's home opener. The way this season has already gone, the Mariners may ask Johnson to stay on the mound for the game.

Seattle has yet to win without Felix Hernandez starting. Co-ace Cliff Lee remains out with an abdominal strain, though he did take another step to a return perhaps by month's end with a successful bullpen session Sunday.

Ryan Rowland-Smith will start the Mariners' 34th home opener, against the same Oakland Athletics who had eight hits.


(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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Mariners pitcher Cliff Lee threw another 45 pitches off the bullpen mound before Sunday's game against the Rangers. Manager Don Wakamatsu said he's encouraged by Lee's progress. Lee is expected to throw another 60 pitches on Wednesday but probably won't be inserted into the rotation until May (see below).

Another injured left-handed starter, Erik Bedard, threw 45 pitches in a bullpen session on Sunday.  He's on the 15-day disabled list recovering from left shoulder surgery.  He's scheduled to throw up to 60 pitches on Wednesday.

Mariners don't expect LHP Cliff Lee back until May

ARLINGTON, Texas - Seattle Mariners pitcher Cliff Lee is expected to miss the first month of the season because of his strained abdominal muscle.

The left-hander threw a 25-pitch bullpen session Friday, his latest step toward joining the rotation, but the Mariners don't expect Lee to be removed from the 15-day disabled list before the end of April......


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