Wilhelmsen ready to return from disabled list

Wilhelmsen ready to return from disabled list

SEATTLE -- Mariners reliever Tom Wilhelmsen threw a 25-pitch simulated inning Thursday afternoon prior to his team's series finale with the Rangers and said he's ready to come off the 15-day disabled list this weekend.

The 32-year-old right-hander has been sidelined for two weeks by a sore lower back that locked up on him after his last outing Aug. 25 against the White Sox in Chicago.

"It felt really good," Wilhelmsen said. "It's a little different trying to get in the competitive mindset of pitching when you know those guys aren't swinging, but everything felt really good coming out of my hand. The back felt no issues; I didn't seem to tire and felt strong throughout."

Wilhelmsen is eligible to come off the DL on Friday as the team opens a six-game road trip in Oakland, but said he believes he'll be given a day to recover and then be ready to pitch by Saturday.

Wilhelmsen has been a valuable addition since re-signing with the Mariners in late June. He had a 10.55 ERA in 21 games for Texas, but is at 3.20 after 22 appearances with Seattle.

"He got his confidence back again," manager Scott Servais said. "He had a couple hiccups, but it happens. He's done a really nice job for us."

Wilhelmsen, now in his sixth season with the Mariners, said he's just eager to get back on the mound and help finish the year strong.

"Being on the DL stinks," he said. "Everyone here wants to compete. We all want to play. Especially this late in the season, especially when we're in a race, everyone wants to contribute and be a part of it. It's tough to sit there and watch."

Worth noting

• Reliever Arquimedes Caminero allowed three hits with no runs, no walks and five strikeouts over six innings in his first five games after being acquired by the Mariners from the Pirates on Aug. 6. But in his last 10 games, he's surrendered 18 hits and 14 runs (eight earned) with eight walks and seven strikeouts in 10 innings.

"His fastball has been in bad spots," Servais said of Caminero's upper-90s heater. "It's at mid-thigh level and it doesn't matter how hard you throw. As they often say, big league hitters can hit a bullet if it's straight. It hasn't been low enough and it hasn't been high enough. It's been right in the hitting zone.

"Hopefully we can get him back going here. He certainly has a great arm and you'd like to get a little more out of that than we have recently. When he first got here, it was electric. We thought we really had something and it's just gotten away from him a little bit."

Robinson Cano (32), Kyle Seager (26) and Adam Lind (20) are the third infield trio in Mariners history to post 20-plus homers in a season. Alex Rodriguez (42), David Bell (21) and Russ Davis (21) did it in 1999 and Paul Sorrento (31), Rodriguez (23) and Davis (20) in 1997.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com 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.