Eric Wedge could return from minor stroke next week


Mariners manager Eric Wedge has been away from the team since suffering a minor stroke on July 22, but interim manager Robby Thompson said yesterday that Wedge is close to returning.

Thompson told Greg Johns of that Wedge is hoping to return during the next homestand, which begins on August 23:

He’s doing really good. He’s doing outstanding. I talked to him yesterday. He’s passing everything with flying colors, he’s feeling much better. And there’s a real good chance that he’ll rejoin us when we get back. That’s kind of where it stands right now.

Seattle is 9-12 with Thompson filling in as manager and it sounds like he may continue to take on an expanded role once Wedge does return.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.