Wilson, who has spent all but two years of his career with the Mariners, has been out since May 4 with a torn ACL in his right knee. The veteran backstop announced Sept. 12 that this would be his final season, but has spent the past two weeks with the team hoping to get his surgically repaired knee ready for one last crouch behind home plate.
“I haven’t seen anything to make us think he can’t play a little bit,” Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said of Wilson, who has caught a record 1,237 games for Seattle since coming over in a trade from Cincinnati prior to the 1994 season.
Wilson and Moyer have been battery-mates since the left-hander came to Seattle during the 1996 campaign, and Wilson wanted to make sure that his last big league appearance would be with the 42-year-old southpaw on the mound.
“I think that would be nice,” Wilson said of catching Moyer. “We have spent a lot of time together, played together a lot. It would be nice if he were the guy. If it works out, that would be outstanding.”
“It’s meaningful to me if it’s meaningful to him. A great way for him to go out is to catch. That’s what he’s done his whole life,” said Moyer. “He’s caught me most of my career. I’ve been here nine-plus years and he’s caught me eight-plus years of that. If we can do it together, it would be great. If he can’t, I understand that, too. You’re dealing with an injury here.”
Wilson will cut his appearance short because his knee likely won’t allow him to take an at-bat. He will catch the top half of the first inning before retiring with a .262 career average, 88 homers and 519 RBIs.
“I think there is more risk with an at-bat,” he said. “I’d rather (catch).”
Moyer will enter his final start of the year with a 9-0 mark and 3.08 ERA in 16 home starts. He has not lost a game at Safeco Field since a 10-4 setback to Texas last Oct. 2.
The Mariners ended a four-game losing streak with Thursday’s 4-3 win over Texas.
Richie Sexson had three hits and two RBIs for the Mariners, who drew just 19,781—the first crowd under 20,000 in the 5 1/2 -year history of Safeco Field.
The A’s, eliminated from playoff contention earlier this week, lost three of four to the AL West champion Los Angeles Angels, including Thursday’s 7-1 setback.
Nick Swisher homered for Oakland, which has lost four of five.