KANSAS CITY -- After Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen got into it with Nationals rookie Bryce Harper on Sunday about how high the pine tar was extending on his bat, the question naturally arose: What advantage is there for a hitter putting the sticky stuff well beyond his hand grip?
Several Mariners hitters said Monday they don't see any benefit to the hitter in that situation.
"I don't know the science behind it, but I don't think it matters," said catcher John Jaso. "It's just for looks. Bryce looks like he's a dirt-and-grit kind of player, so I'm guessing he's going for that old-school look. It's just aesthetics, I think."
First baseman Justin Smoak noted that "usually if you hit a ball on the pine tar, your bat is breaking or something. It's not usually a good thing."
Reliever Lucas Luetge said that pine tar on a ball is potentially more beneficial to a pitcher. Smoak agreed with that assessment and said he gets fielded ground balls thrown to him at first that are still sticky at times.
"Sometimes, when you go to throw the ball around after an out, there's pine tar all over it," he said. "But normally, they just throw balls out of play right away anyway."
Manager Eric Wedge said he doesn't pay any attention to opposing batters' pine tar.
"It's part of the game," said Wedge. "I don't get caught up in that little stuff. If that's the difference between winning and losing, shame on me. I want to go out and kick somebody's [butt]. That's what I want to do. I don't nickel and dime the game like that. I just won't do it."
Ryan fouls ball off left knee, exits with bruise
KANSAS CITY -- Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan was taken out of Monday night's game against the Royals in the second inning after bruising his left knee by fouling a pitch off his leg.
Ryan, 30, stayed in during the at-bat and singled off Royals starter Jonathan Sanchez, then scored on a triple by Casper Wells as the Mariners jumped to a quick seven-run lead on the way to a 9-4 victory.
But Ryan was replaced on defense in the bottom of the second by utility infielder Munenori Kawasaki, who went 1-for-2 with a walk and run scored.
"It's a pretty good bruise," said manager Eric Wedge. "He fouled a ball off his foot in batting practice and then really nailed his knee there on that one. It wasn't going to do anything but get worse. If we'd tried to push him through tonight, he's probably not going to be available tomorrow or maybe even the next day. So he came in and got treatment the whole game."
Ryan is hitting just .186 on the season, but he is regarded as one of the American League's premier defensive shortstops. He leads all AL shortstops with a .994 fielding percentage and a 14.4 UZR rating.
Beavan back with Mariners, on tap for Tuesday
KANSAS CITY -- The Mariners haven't announced their starting pitcher yet for Tuesday's game against the Royals since it will require a roster move first, but Blake Beavan flew into Kansas City on Monday afternoon and clearly will be returning to a spot in the rotation.
Beavan, 23, was 4-0 with a 2.61 ERA in six starts for Triple-A Tacoma since getting sent down by the Mariners last month. Seattle needs a starter to replace Erasmo Ramirez, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right elbow.
The Mariners will need to shift someone off their 25-man roster to clear a spot for Beavan, and they will wait until Tuesday to make that move.
Ramirez is with the team in Kansas City and will throw another bullpen session and then a simulated game before being sent out on a Minor League rehab stint.
Manager Eric Wedge said Ramirez likely will need "a couple" rehab starts before he's ready to return.
Ryan brings impersonations to Intentional Talk
KANSAS CITY -- Brendan Ryan has long entertained his teammates with his outgoing personality and non-stop chatter, but the Mariners' shortstop went national on Monday in a live interview with Chris Rose on MLB Network's Intentional Talk.
While the interview went everywhere from judging manager Eric Wedge's former mustache to teammate Munenori Kawasaki's crazy dancing, Ryan felt it was dragging a little until they asked him to do a couple impersonations.
After dropping a little Robert DeNiro and Christopher Walken, Ryan decided to finish up with a Harry Caray bit that included a fairly off-color ending. It was the familiar baseball joke about seeing a couple kissing in the stands and noting that "he was kissing her on the strikes and she was kissing him ..."
As Ryan rolled out the punch line, his teammates were rolling on the floor while watching the show in the visitor's clubhouse at Kauffman Stadium.
"I wanted to finish strong," said Ryan.
"He's one of a kind," said outfielder Casper Wells.
• Franklin Gutierrez increased his pregame workout to include hitting in the cage as well as playing catch on Monday as he works toward a return from the concussion he suffered June 29 when he got hit in the head with a pickoff throw.
"The plan is to get him doing a little more on the field [Tuesday] and Wednesday and see where we are on Thursday before we go to Tampa," said manager Eric Wedge. "He'll do some running in the next few days and we'll get him out taking some batting practice."
• Though Jaso has played very little against left-handed pitchers and is hitting just .048 against southpaws, he will start on Tuesday against Royals lefty Everett Teaford. The Mariners are facing three straight lefties in Kansas City and Wedge said Jaso deserves the chance to play more against southpaws. He'll also play Thursday against right-hander Luke Hochevar, while Wednesday's situation remains to be seen.
• Mariners catcher Miguel Olivo leads the American League in throwing out baserunners, having caught 16 attempted basestealers. Cleveland's Carlos Santana is second with 15.