Erik Bedard scratched from Tuesday start

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According to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times, left-hander Erik Bedard has been scratched from Tuesday’s start against Zack Greinke and the Royals due to a stiff shoulder. It was supposed to be his season debut. He is currently being evaluated by team doctors.

Bedard, who underwent season-ending shoulder surgery last August, posted a 1.64 ERA over three recent minor league rehab appearances. He passed a final test by tossing 4 1/3 shutout innings for Triple-A Tacoma last Thursday. It wasn’t until a recent bullpen session did his shoulder start barking.

“He says he’s still feeling a little bit of discomfort in his
shoulder,” Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said moments ago. “It kind of
creeped up on him in his last bullpen. We’re going to have him
re-evaluated by the doctor today and we should know a little more later
on this afternoon.”

It’s disappointing, but nobody should be surprised to hear about the setback, given Bedard’s history. The Mariners surely hoped to showcase the left-hander in anticipation of a possible trade before July 31, but the chance that actually happens is pretty much slim to none now.

Marlins option Tom Koehler to Triple-A, recall Hunter Cervenka

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Long-time rotation mainstay Tom Koehler was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on Monday and reliever Hunter Cervenka was recalled, the Marlins announced.

Koehler, 31, made 131 starts out of the Marlins’ rotation over the last five years, but his 12 this season have not been good, so the club hopes he can figure things out with a stint in the minors. He’s carrying a 7.92 ERA with a 44/29 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. Koehler battled bursitis in his right shoulder in May and June, which may partially explain his struggles.

Cervenka, 27, posted a 4.50 ERA with a 34/21 K/BB ratio in 34 innings of relief with New Orleans. He hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season, but compiled a 3.53 ERA over 43 1/3 innings in the bigs last year in the Marlins’ bullpen.

Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are interested in Pat Neshek

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At the trade deadline, relief pitching is the name of the game and one of the names clearly available is Pat Neshek. Today Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are among the clubs who are closely scouting the Phillies reliever. Last week Ken Rosenthal reported that the Brewers and Rays were involved as well.

Neshek is an impending free agent, so he may come cheaper than Justin Wilson or some of the other bullpen arms available right now. The All-Star is 36 and is posting a fantastic season, featuring a 1.12 ERA and 45/5 K/BB ratio over 40.1 innings this season.