SEATTLE -- To make room for left-hander Erik Bedard, Jack Cust was designated for assignment on Friday afternoon before Bedard and the Mariners faced the Rays in the series opener.
It would have made sense to send down right-hander Blake Beavan, the pitcher who had filled in for Bedard since July 3. But the Mariners opted to designate Cust instead of the 22-year-old Beavan, who has been impressive with a 1-2 record and 3.04 ERA in four starts.
Mariners manager Eric Wedge hinted at the possibility of going with six starters, and that he didn't want to send someone out and not be able to bring him back for 10 days.
"There's always a possibility of that," Wedge said of the six-man rotation. "When you talk about guys that are pitching this year and you got some youth, I don't think there's quite the necessity to push Felix [Hernandez] like he was last year and like we did early on this year. Obviously, with [Michael] Pineda being a younger pitcher, we got to draw it out. It's always a possibility for us."
Wedge said he's managed a six-man rotation in his career for those reasons. The skipper, in his first year with Seattle, also repeated the phrase "keeping your options open" in his pregame session with the media on Friday.
"The fact of the matter is, you got to look beyond today," he said. "There's nothing more important than today's game, but having said that, you got to pay attention to tomorrow, to next week, to next month, even next year.
"We are going through a lot here in a short period of time -- some good, some not so good, some really good, some really bad -- but all that is going to be a part of who we ultimately end up being as a Major League club and as an organization. So, yeah, for us to keep flexibility and keep our options open, I think that can only be a plus for what we're trying to do."
Kelley fans two in Tacoma rehab appearance
SEATTLE -- In his first rehab appearance with Triple-A Tacoma, reliever Shawn Kelley notched two strikeouts in a perfect seventh inning during a 3-1 win on Wednesday.
"I felt good. I felt real good," Kelley said. "I felt normal when I woke up the next day."
Kelley has been on the 60-day disabled list for the entire season while recovering from partial Tommy John surgery on Sept. 1, 2010.
The 27-year-old struck out the first two batters he faced and said he was happy with his three pitches: fastball, changeup and slider. He said it was also nice to get some in-game experience.
"It was good to go out, see the scoreboard, the fans," he said. "Then, after the game, it was nice to come in and feel like I helped the team win that day. It was a good feeling."
Kelley has made 63 relief appearances for the Mariners in the past two seasons. He pitched in 22 games last year, going 3-1 with a 3.96 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 25 innings. The Kentucky native hopes to return in late August.
Before Friday's game, the Mariners honored the Seattle SuperSonics. Several Sonics legends like Gus Williams, Jack Sikma, Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp -- along with former Seattle coaches Lenny Wilkens and George Karl -- were showcased in a pregame ceremony. The team was relocated to Oklahoma City in 2008, leaving Seattle without an NBA team.
There was also a moment of silence for Rick "The Peanut Man" Kaminski, who passed away on Wednesday at the age of 67, before Friday's game. Kaminski was a Kingdome and Safeco Field vendor since the Mariners' first season in 1977. He was known for his lovable personality and perfecting the art of peanut throwing.
The Seattle offense has finally woken up. Over the past nine games, Seattle is batting .274 (93-for-339) with nine home runs and 42 RBIs. The Mariners are averaging 4.67 runs and 10.3 hits per game in that span.
Mike Carp became the third rookie in team history to record four hits and four RBIs in the same game when he did so Wednesday in a 9-2 win over the Yankees
Taylor Soper is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.