Mariners want Silva to trim the fat
Silva, nicknamed the "Buffalo," is on a postseason program to slim down
The right-handed starting pitcher's numbers grew with his waistline -- a 4-15 record with a 6.46 earned run average in a season marred by back problems and a stint on the disabled list with a tender elbow.
The 2008 media guide, produced before the season, listed the 6-foor-4 Silva at 246 pounds. The postseason guide, released early this month, has him at 250.
The Mariners won't say what the man nicknamed "Buffalo" weighed at the end of the season, although it clearly wasn't a four-pound difference. It was more like 30.
The Mariners are taking special steps this winter to make sure he isn't super-sized again.
They gave Silva a nutrition and workout program to follow this offseason, and strength/conditioning coach Allen Wirtala spent a few days early this offseason working with the right-hander at his home near Minneapolis. Trainer Rick Griffin will visit him later in the offseason.
"He's on a real good program," Griffin said. "He's right where we want him."
Griffin wouldn't say what Silva weighs now, but his back and arm are feeling fine.
"All of his little aches and pains have cleared up," Griffin said. "He knows what he's supposed to do. He's working hard, losing weight and getting into good shape."
Ailing Bedard progressing
Pitcher Erik Bedard, who had shoulder surgery Sept. 26, may begin throwing in less than a month.
The left-hander is scheduled to see Dr. Lewis Yocum in mid-December and, if he continues to progress in his recovery, he could be cleared to start a throwing program. In September, Yocum removed a cyst and non-healthy tissue from the labrum in Bedard's left shoulder.
It's too soon to know where Bedard's recovery will be when spring training begins in mid-February. Recovery time from the kind of surgery Bedard had typically is six months, which would put him at full strength in late March.
"We'll have to wait until he sees the doctor," Griffin said.
Catcher Jeff Clement has begun a running program and will start hitting off a tee in about two weeks as he recovers from knee surgery.
He had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Sept. 9 and is expected to be at full strength when spring training begins.
"He's still got to come out and see the doctor in early January, but all indications are that he'll be OK," Griffin said.
New manager Don Wakamatsu said injuries were a big part of the reason the Mariners struggled this year, although the M's spent relatively little time on the disabled list. They had seven players who missed a combined total of 415 games because of DL time, considerably fewer than the 804 games the Mariners missed in 2007. The Angels, by comparison, missed 795 games of DL time in 2008. … Among those showing interest in free agent left fielder Raul Ibanez are three with deep pockets -- the Dodgers, Mets and Cubs. … At least three teams have contacted Willie Bloomquist, the longtime M's utility player who is a free agent, including one from the AL West (no, it's not the Mariners). … Many players around baseball won't start their offseason workouts in earnest for a few weeks, but that's not the case with M's pitcher Brandon Morrow. The right-hander, who will be part of the starting rotation next year, has been working out at Safeco Field the past two weeks.
Read Kirby Arnold's blog on the Mariners at www.heraldnet.com
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