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Wedge released, believed to have had mild stroke

Manager expected to make full recovery, will miss at least 10 games

SEATTLE -- Mariners manager Eric Wedge was released from the hospital on Wednesday after dealing with what doctors believe was a mild stroke on Monday.

Wedge, 45, will miss at least the remaining four games of the current homestand as well as the upcoming six-game trip to Boston and Baltimore before a determination will be made on his return.

"I've had several conversations with him and the doctors," said general manager Jack Zduriencik. "We expect a complete recovery. What he needs to do is stay home for the next short period of time. We expect him to be back sooner than later. He sounds normal. Talking to him, it sounds like everything is fine and he's ready to roll. But we're going to err on the side of caution.

"The common-sense thing is to have Eric rest, and it makes sense that he won't make this trip to the East Coast," Zduriencik said. "When we get back, he'll be evaluated and we'll see where we stand."

Bench coach Robby Thompson has filled the past three games since Wedge was helped from the field after becoming dizzy during batting practice before Monday's game. Thompson will continue to serve as the interim manager in Wedge's absence.

"Robby will handle the club baseball-wise," Zduriencik said. "We have great confidence in what he can do. He's obviously one of Eric's lieutenants, and I'm happy he's going to have this opportunity. He's a good guy to turn this club over to, and we'll all be in communication and get back on a roll tomorrow."

Zduriencik and Thompson informed the team of the news shortly after Wednesday's 10-1 loss to the Indians that snapped an eight-game winning streak.

"I'm sure there's a lot of concern out there," said Thompson, who has been Wedge's bench coach throughout his three years in Seattle. "Eric is a very caring man and loves every one of those guys in that clubhouse. I think they have that in return for him.

"Any situation like this that arises, there is concern. We're just going to put our hearts and prayers into him and [his wife] Kate and their extended families. He's a strong, determined man. Like Jack said, he'll be back sooner than later."

Shortstop Brendan Ryan said the players will rally around their skipper.

"It's scary stuff," he said. "You don't want to see that happen to anybody. But he's a tough guy. You don't want anyone to hurry anything like that and just have him come back on his own time. We'll be thinking of him and he'll be with us. The sooner he gets back, the better, but we just wish him the best and a speedy recovery."

Players weren't certain of Wedge's status until learning of the mild stroke after doctors finalized tests on Wednesday.

"This isn't the kind of motivation you're looking for, but collectively he'll be in our hearts and minds," Ryan said. "You'd rather it be like a pulled calf or something, but it is what it is. He'll deal with it the right way. I don't know what measurements there are to avoid that kind of stuff, but I'm sure whatever there is he'll do the homework and take the right road."

First baseman Justin Smoak echoed those thoughts.

"We're all worried about him and hoping he's doing well," Smoak said. "It's one of those things. Wedge is a big, strong man and he'll get through this. We'll be glad to have him back healthy and ready to go here in a week or so.

"We've got a lot of young guys, and he's stuck with us for a long time now. He's going to get through this, and we're all looking forward to getting him back."

Wedge is in his third season as Seattle's manager, posting a 190-235 record. He previously managed the Indians from 2003-09 and took the Indians to the American League Championship Series in 2007.

Thompson, 51, has been Wedge's right-hand man in Seattle and previously worked with him in Cleveland in 2002 and 2005. Thompson was a two-time All-Star with the Giants during his playing career from 1986-96.

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog.
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