Mariners notebook: Good news for pitching staff

With a starting rotation that has been in state of flux over the past month, the Seattle Mariners received a little bit of good news Thursday regarding a pair of pitchers.

Carlos Silva (elbow) threw again Thursday and told manager Jim Riggleman that he felt really good. The right-hander appears on track to be ready in a couple of weeks.

Though he didn’t throw, Erik Bedard (shoulder) also told Riggleman he felt much better and will likely begin throwing on flat ground today or Saturday.

“There are ups and downs when they go through that process,” Riggleman said. “Today is a good day; some days it’s not as good as others.”

With Brandon Morrow expected to join the rotation sometime in September, the Mariners will have some decisions to make in the coming weeks as to how the rotation will round out after Felix Hernandez and Jarrod Washburn.

Seven pitchers have gotten the starting nod in the past month. None have stood out. Going into Thursday’s game, Mariners starters had a 6.38 ERA in the last 30 days—the second worst mark in the AL.

Not that it’s been that much worse compared to the rest of the season, though.

For the year, the starting staff has posted a 5.27 ERA, and its 27 total wins for is the lowest in the league.

Logically, Riggleman hopes to have a healthy Bedard back in the rotation again this season, but he wouldn’t make any predictions.

“I just want him to (be back),” Riggleman said. “I don’t know how much pain is in there, how much better it’s feeling. I think Erik is the only one who can answer it, and unfortunately, he’s not talking.”

Check that

Major League Baseball reached an agreement with umpires Wednesday that will allow the sport to use instant replay on boundary calls, and that’s just fine with Riggleman.

“I kind of hope we limit it to that, but I think it’s a good idea,” Riggleman said.

Replays will be used to determine fair or foul balls and whether a ball cleared the fence for a home run.

Baseball officials have not disclosed when the use of replays will begin or what equipment will be installed in each stadium, though commissioner Bud Selig has repeatedly expressed the desire for replay to be implemented before this year’s postseason.

At Safeco Field, there have been several disputed home runs calls over the years, especially when balls hit the railing that sits just above the wall from right center to the right field foul pole.

“The home run, that’s the furthest thing away from the umpires,” Riggleman said. “Everything else is close to them, but when it happens out there, and it’s bouncing around off of rails and poles, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with getting technical help there.”

On tap

Ryan Feierabend (0-1, 18.00) will make his second start this year for the Mariners today—his birthday—and be opposed by rookie lefty Gio Gonzalez (1-2, 7.53) of the A’s. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m., and the game will be televised on FSN.