Jon Garland may earn rotation spot with Mariners

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So says Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times:

Garland could have taken an offer from the Indians prior to signing with Seattle, but he came here after a talk with manager Eric Wedge. I wasn’t there for the chat, but I guaratnee you it went something like: “If you do what you did before, you will make this team.”

So far, Garland has looked very good this spring. Hitters are pounding the ball into the ground off him. He’s thrown 200 innings in a season before — none of the young guys have — and the Mariners need that kind of depth.

I’m assuming he stays.

Garland missed all of the 2012 season after having surgery on his right shoulder in July 2011. The 33-year-old has a career 4.32 ERA over his 12-year career. He was good as recently as 2010 pitching in the pitcher-friendly confines of Petco Park in San Diego. That year, he finished with a 3.47 ERA in an even 200 innings. Seattle’s Safeco Field is similarly pitcher-friendly, so Garland could potentially enjoy success with an opportunity, if given one.

Jake Arrieta to return to Cubs’ rotation on Thursday

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Cubs starter Jake Arrieta has been out over two weeks with a strained right hamstring, but he’s ready to return to action. The right-hander threw a bullpen on Tuesday and it went well, so he will start in Thursday’s series opener against the Brewers in Milwaukee, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports.

Arrieta, 31, returns with a 14-9 record, a 3.48 ERA, and a 157/53 K/BB ratio in 160 1/3 innings. If he stays on schedule, he’ll make three starts through the end of the regular season, including the regular season finale on October 1 against the Reds.

Arrieta is expected to max out at 75-80 pitches on Thursday and will ramp up through the end of the month.

Cardinals activate Adam Wainwright from the disabled list

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The Cardinals announced ahead of Tuesday’s series opener against the Reds that pitcher Adam Wainwright has been activated from the 10-day disabled list.

Wainwright, 36, has been absent since mid-August due to a right elbow impingement. The Cardinals plan to use him out of the bullpen through the end of the season. Prior to the injury, the right-hander posted a disappointing 5.12 ERA with a 96/44 K/BB ratio in 121 1/3 innings.

Wainwright is under contract for one more year at $19.5 million before becoming eligible for free agency.