Decisions looming as Tokyo trip nears

It’ll be an interesting Cactus League contest for the Mariners this afternoon in Goodyear, with rotation candidates Kevin Millwood and Hisashi Iwakuma both scheduled to pitch against the Reds in their final auditions before the team heads to Japan.

Neither will be among the two regular-season starters in Tokyo since Felix Hernandez and Jason Vargas have those spots, but the team does need to make some decisions soon on how it’s going to trim to a 30-man roster by the time the plane heads out Thursday morning.

Not sure how much it means that Millwood is getting the start today while Iwakuma pitches in relief, but clearly the club is intrigued by the veteran Millwood … and a little concerned by an erratic spring so far by Iwakuma. So we’ll see how those two throw today.

Several of the lefty relief specialists are also slated to throw today — or at least available — with Goergie Sherrill, Cesar Jimenez and Charlie Furbush making the trip to Goodyear. How many innings are left after Millwood and Iwakuma throw remains to be seen, but the club is also facing some decision time on the bullpen situation.

Manager Eric Wedge is going with quite a few backups in the lineup today, then will come back with something close to his Opening Day crew Wednesday against the White Sox when Felix Hernandez will make his final spring start.

Mike Carp is back in the lineup today after sitting out Monday. He said he didn’t feel well on Sunday and thus was kept out of Monday’s game, the one expected starter who didn’t play Monday. But he’s back to normal and I suspect he’ll play today and Wednesday.

Here’s today’s lineup:

Munenori Kawasaki SS
Luis Rodriguez 2B
Mike Carp LF
Jesus Montero C
Kyle Seager 3B
Alex Liddi 1B
Vinnie Catricala DH
Carlos Peguero RF
Casper Wells CF

Kevin Millwood RHP

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