SEATTLE -- Oft-injured pitcher Erik Bedard is back on Seattle's disabled list with inflammation in his left shoulder, perhaps handcuffing the Mariners' ability to deal one of their top commodities as the nonwaiver trade deadline approaches.
Bedard was placed on the disabled list Sunday morning and Seattle recalled left-hander Jason Vargas from Triple-A Tacoma to take Bedard's spot on the 25-man roster. Vargas was scheduled to start Sunday's series finale against Cleveland.
"At this time, we thought it was in Erik's best interest to back him off and give him time to recover from the discomfort in his left shoulder," general manager Jack Zduriencik said. "We look forward to having him available to compete for the stretch run."
The move came less than 24 hours after Bedard lasted just three innings and threw 81 pitches in Seattle's 10-3 loss to Cleveland, which dropped them 7½ games back of the streaking Angels in the AL West. Seattle may become sellers as Friday's trade deadline approaches. The Mariners are 6½ games back in the wild-card standings despite being five games over .500.
After Saturday's game, Bedard met with manager Don Wakamatsu and Zduriencik and admitted there was some discomfort in his troublesome pitching shoulder.
"I know he's trying to go out there and do the best he can. He just feels like he cannot get the command of the fastball," Wakamatsu said. "We're looking from this point forward [of] can we get him back on the field and can we get some more starts out of him."
The team plans to use medication and rest as its treatment plan this time. Bedard already missed a month in June and July with shoulder inflammation and has made just four starts since June 7.
Bedard had surgery on his pitching shoulder last September to remove a cyst and didn't pitch after July 4 last year.
"At this point we're not going to do an MRI. He's on some [medications] and then we'll try and get him to throw in three or four days and see if that medication kicks in a little bit," Wakamatsu said. "If that kicks in then there is no need. I think last resort at this point is to have an MRI."
Bedard is 5-3 with a 2.82 ERA in 15 starts this season. He can become a free agent after this season, and Zduriencik has said repeatedly he is seeking to restock a depleted minor-league system.
The farm was burned by the five-for-one deal orchestrated by since-fired GM Bill Bavasi in February 2008 that brought Bedard from Baltimore. It sent away a budding outfielder Adam Jones, a closer who became an All-Star in George Sherrill and top pitching prospect Chris Tillman.