Mariners call up Dickey, Rhodes, demote O'Flaherty, send Morse to DL

SEATTLE -- Arthur Rhodes returned to the Seattle Mariners
ahead of schedule. R.A. Dickey is back as insurance in case ace
Erik Bedard's hip inflammation becomes more of a problem.

Rhodes and Dickey were brought up by the Mariners on Monday, who
also optioned struggling reliever Eric O'Flaherty to Double-A West
Tenn and placed outfielder Mike Morse on the 15-day disabled list
with a dislocated shoulder.

Rhodes, less than a year removed from major elbow surgery, will
likely become the main left-handed reliever in Seattle's tattered
bullpen. Dickey was added for depth, giving the Mariners 12
pitchers on the roster, and in case Bedard is unable to make his
next start.

Bedard, acquired in a trade with Baltimore, was scratched from
his scheduled start on Sunday with inflammation in his left hip.
The discomfort forced him to miss his start on April 6 in Baltimore
as well.

"He said he's feeling better than he did yesterday and that's a
positive," Seattle manager John McLaren said.

McLaren added that the team won't fully know the extent of
Bedard's injury until he throws a bullpen session, which could come
on Tuesday.

Enter Dickey, the veteran knuckleballer, who in his last start
at Triple-A Tacoma took a no-hitter into the seventh inning.
McLaren said Dickey could be used in a variety of roles, but is the
likely choice if Bedard can't make his next start.

"One of the beauties of having a guy like me in the 'pen is I
can do whatever they need and can do it consecutive days," Dickey
said. "Being a knuckleballer, I could pretty much throw every

While Dickey could fill a number of roles, Rhodes' position is
set as the Mariners' main left-handed reliever. Seattle hoped
O'Flaherty could take over that role after George Sherrill was part
of the trade that brought Bedard to the Mariners.

But O'Flaherty has struggled, allowing runs in six of his seven
appearances. On Sunday, O'Flaherty gave up six runs and eight hits
against the Angels, watching his ERA balloon to 20.25.

"We had to get Eric his confidence back, he's been struggling
so much," McLaren said. "His velocity is there and we were trying
to give him a chance to work through it, and it just wasn't
happening so we had to make a move."

Rhodes, a non-roster invitee to spring training, had Tommy John
surgery on his left elbow last May. He pitched well in spring
training and stayed behind in Arizona at extended spring training
to do additional rehab work.

In his one outing with West Tenn, Rhodes allowed three runs --
one earned -- and recorded just one out. Rhodes acknowledges his
velocity isn't where he wants it to be, but his location is better
than two years ago when he last pitched.

"The whole offseason I had a deadline I was going to be in the
big leagues again, probably middle of April, end of April," Rhodes
said. "That was my mind-set."

McLaren hopes Rhodes and Dickey can stabilize a bullpen that's
still without closer J.J. Putz and right-hander Brandon Morrow.
Putz took Monday off from throwing and is being brought along
slowly in his rehab from a ribcage injury.

"We do not have a timeframe on this," McLaren said. "I've
made it known, especially to him, we do not have a date. ... This
is something that he needs to be 100 percent."

Morse had an MRI exam Monday that revealed the dislocation,
sustained when he landed hard diving for a fly ball on Sunday. He
had played in just five games in the regular season, but hit .492
in spring training to earn a roster spot.