Miley could be close to rejoining rotation

Miley could be close to rejoining rotation

SEATTLE -- The Mariners' beleaguered rotation appears close to getting some reinforcements back as left-hander Wade Miley made a Minor League rehab start in Class-A Everett on Friday night in anticipation of a Wednesday return from the 15-day disabled list due to his sore shoulder.

Miley tossed four scoreless innings with seven strikeouts for Everett, allowing no hits or walks.

"Pain free. I'm ready to rock and roll," Miley said after his 55-pitch outing. "I felt like I probably could have pitched last week, but they wanted to be smart about it. So I took some time off and hopefully it'll pay off in the long run."

The news wasn't as good for right-hander Adrian Sampson, who said he was informed by doctors that he'll need surgery to reattach the flexor bundle in his right elbow. Sampson was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday, a day after being pulled from his second Major League start in Detroit with a sore elbow before he could even complete his warmup throws.

Sampson will miss the rest of the season, though he said the rehab for a flexor bundle tear isn't as long as that required by the Tommy John surgery he underwent during his prep days at Skyline High School in Issaquah, Wash.

In other pitching news, the decision was made not to place right-hander Taijuan Walker on the disabled list, with the belief he'll be ready to rejoin the rotation -- likely on Thursday -- after Wade LeBlanc filled in as a spot starter in Friday night's game against the Cardinals due to Walker's issues with tendinitis in the arch of his right foot.

"I'm pretty confident based on talking to him and what the training staff says," manager Scott Servais said. "We'll know more after he plays catch today and how his bullpen [session] goes this weekend. But I am anticipating him making a start next week."

And Felix Hernandez continues showing improvement from the calf strain that has sidelined him for nearly a month now as the Mariners ace is pointed toward a likely return after the All-Star break in about three weeks.

"He's feeling good," Servais said. "He's picking up his throwing routine, getting stretched out. I think he's trying to get out to 120 feet today. I heard him arguing with [trainer Rick] Griffin in there about wanting to do a little bit more, so you know he's progressing really nicely. We can't have him soon enough."

There is also some positive news on reliever Charlie Furbush, who is throwing bullpen sessions again as he works his way back from a rotator cuff issue that has sidelined him since last July. Furbush threw in Tacoma while the Mariners were on the road and was back on the mound Monday at Safeco.

Furbush will need an extensive Minor League rehab before the Mariners can even think about him rejoining the club, but he's at least progressing down that path again.

The news is less positive on right-hander Tony Zych, who has been sent to the club's Arizona training facility to continue rehabbing his right shoulder.

"Tony's not, as far as I know, that far along," Servais said. "He'll be rehabbing and working with the guys down there [in Peoria]."


Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.