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MARINERS NOTEBOOK: Silva placed on DL

MINNEAPOLIS – The surprise wasn’t that the Seattle Mariners named Ryan Feierabend their starting pitcher for today’s game.

Feierabend, 22, had earned that chance by going 7-1 with a 2.04 earned run average in Tacoma.

The surprise was that to make room for the young left-hander, veteran righty Carlos Silva – who’d lost Friday and is now 1-14 since mid-April – was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

“The injury isn’t serious, it’s just tenderness in the right elbow,” manager Jimf Riggleman said. “Carlos came to us after the game and said he’d been feeling it, and we decided to make this move. We’ll cool it down, then work with him in the bullpen until he’s ready to come back.”

Will that be this season?

“We’re not sure,” Riggleman said.

In Feirabend, the Mariners are bringing up a young pitcher who has been here before, both in 2006 and 2007, and struggled with his control. That hasn’t been an issue in Tacoma this year, where teammate Jake Woods said he’s been “a strike-throwing machine.”

In 17 major league games, 11 of them starts, Feierabend’s record is 1-7 with a 6.92 ERA. In Silva’s first 25 starts for Seattle, he’s gone 4-14 with a 6.38 ERA.

Perspective on Lowe

It’s easy to look at the numbers and think Mark Lowe has had a disappointing season – unless you’re Lowe.

By the numbers, through 47 appearances, the Seattle right-hander is 1-4 with a save and a 5.40 earned run average. Those aren’t the kind of statistics anyone dreams of in spring training.

Until Lowe’s are put in perspective.

A year ago, for instance, he threw 2 1/3 innings for Seattle. That’s it. Four late-season appearances following more than a year of rehabilitation from delicate, experimental elbow surgery.

“This spring, I had one goal – not to miss a day of the season because of health,” Lowe said. “Whether it was here or in Tacoma, just to stay healthy.”

Lowe has been available every day this season, pitched in back-to-back games, thrown multiple innings. All without the pain that stopped him cold in 2006.

“I’m doing things now I couldn’t do even when I was healthy before surgery,” Lowe said. “My velocity is there. I come back faster, I feel stronger, I feel great.”

The Mariners were patient with Lowe during his ’07 rehab, and have been supportive as he’s found his way this season. It hasn’t always been easy, or pretty.

“I’ve had some bad outings, but not because of my elbow,” Lowe said. “It’s a long process, coming back after missing a full year.”

Lowe’s velocity has steadily climbed, month by month. He is routinely in the mid-90s now, and occasionally can hurry a fastball up there at 98 mph. For a 25-year-old who was warned he might never pitch again, it’s steady progress.

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