Don't call it a setback: Erik Bedard cancels bullpen session

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Erik Bedard was slated to throw off a mound today for the first time since August shoulder surgery, but the Mariners canceled those plans with trainer Rick Griffin explaining: “He’s not ready, in our opinion.”
Griffin went on to clarify that the cancellation isn’t a “setback” for Bedard, but given that the bullpen session was actually put on the schedule several weeks ago it’s hard not to view it as such.
“He’s so far ahead of what he’s supposed to be,” Griffin told Larry Stone of the Seattle Times. “He’s doing very well. We just want to make sure we don’t have setbacks.”
My view of this may be too simplistic, but it sure seems like either the Mariners over-anxiously had a bullpen session on the docket for a pitcher who wasn’t likely to be ready yet following surgery or Bedard has at the very least fallen behind schedule. Whether or not that’s technically a “setback” is debatable, but “he’s so far ahead of what he’s supposed to be” and “he’s doing very well” seems like some serious spin control.
Whatever the case, in signing Bedard to an incentive-laden one-year, $1.5 million deal the Mariners never expected him to contribute before May or perhaps even June anyway.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.