Beltre mulling WBC decision

Updated: February 25, 2009, 4:46 PM ET
Associated Press

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Adrian Beltre wants a few more days to decide whether to defy the Seattle Mariners and play for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.

Adrian Beltre

Beltre

Beltre wants to test his surgically repaired shoulder in a couple of spring training games. The initial test will come Thursday against the San Diego Padres, according to Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu.

Beltre said he's talked to former major leaguer Stan Javier, the general manager of the Dominican team, and that Javier is fine with waiting.

"I haven't played. It's different to use in games than [in practice]," Beltre said before he sat out Wednesday's charity exhibition against San Diego.

In other news, Mariners left-hander Ryan Feierabend might need season-ending surgery on his injured pitching elbow.

Beltre is on the final WBC roster, but the Gold Glove third baseman can be replaced before his nation's opener on March 7.

Seattle fears he is not fully recovered from operations last September to repair a ligament in his left thumb and to remove bone spurs from his left, non-throwing shoulder.

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"I don't want him to jeopardize anything," Wakamatsu said. "He seems to feel he can't judge that unless he gets in there [in a game]. He feels he's farther along that we've anticipated."

Seattle's team doctor estimated Beltre would need four months to rehabilitate. That time frame ended six weeks ago, and the hand seems fine. But last week, Beltre was getting treatment on his achy shoulder.

"Since they told me they didn't want me to play I don't want to go over there and get hurt and hear, 'I told you so,' " Beltre said. "But I still probably have the same chance to get hurt here as I do there. It [would be] just a matter of bad luck. And I might play DH over there, so it might even be easier on my shoulder."

The 23-year-old Feierabend had been a candidate for a long relief role this season, but never felt fully healthy after he was scratched from his final scheduled start of 2008. He tried rehabilitation all winter at the team's spring training headquarters.

Then, after about 20 pitches in the bullpen Sunday, he heard a pop in his elbow while throwing a slider. An MRI exam Monday showed a partial ligament tear.

Feierabend plans to leave camp Tuesday for Los Angeles to see Dr. Lewis Yocum, and the operation would be Wednesday.

"I'm going with the intention of possibly having Tommy John," Feierabend said, referring to the ligament replacement procedure that generally requires at least a year of recovery time.

"If there's any type of tear in it, then I will probably have the surgery because I've tried to rehab it already," he added. "This year is pretty much a wash for me. We'll just nip it in the bud, so to speak, now and do it all over again next year in Seattle, in the sense of trying to make the team again."

Feierabend was 1-4 with a 7.71 ERA in eight starts for Seattle last year. He has pitched in 25 games for the Mariners over the past three seasons.

Wakamatsu, a former major league catcher, told Feierabend he had two Tommy John operations and that his elbow feels great.

"Not that it does anything for me now that I'm a manager," Wakamatsu joked to Feierabend.

Wakamatsu also said non-roster outfielder Freddy Guzman will have surgery next week to fix a broken hamate bone in his right hand. Guzman was injured while swinging a bat in an intrasquad game Tuesday and said he's been told he will miss up to six weeks.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press