Friday, February 27, 2015 / 38 Days ‘til Opening Day (April 6 vs. Los Angeles Angels)
Blood, Sweat and Tears:
You often hear that people put their blood, sweat and tears into something…well, today, players had to give their blood, literally. All players in Major League camp had to give blood this morning as part of their physicals. Players lined up (a long line) and went through the yearly ritual. Not the most enjoyable part of Spring Training, but it’s over now.
Entertainment and Sports Programming Network:
If you hadn’t noticed on social media or on TV, ESPN was in Mariners camp to talk to…well, lots of players and staff. Here are a few pictures from the day and a few links to watch the filmed spots.
- Felix Hernandez chats with Tim Kurkjian and Aaron Boone
- Mariners: Spring Training Players to Watch
- Mariners Questions In Spring Training
Also Stopping By Camp:
Former Major Leaguer and current ESPN Analyst Chris Singleton also dropped in to camp to chat with GM Jack Zduriencik and Manager Lloyd McClendon.
More Commercial Fun:
Last night, this happened.
Today, Robinson Cano stepped into the batters box to film his spot. Sr. Director of Marketing Gregg Green (@RealGregg) captured his commercial swing in slow motion.
Bats hit home runs, bats hit doubles, bats drive in runs…but bats also break. Mike Zunino found that out again today.
KING 5’s Chris Egan Continues To Get Interviews:
Chris Egan wraps up his interview with Mariners General Manager Jack Zduriencik, completing his first round of interviews from Mariners Spring Training.
Bat Companies In Camp:
The MAX Bat company and PHOENIX BATS were in town to show off their products to the players. If you haven’t noticed from reading this blog, players have lots of options to choose from when it comes to bat selections.
Tweet of the Day:
Thursday, February 26, 2015 / 39 Days ‘til Opening Day (April 6 vs. Los Angeles Angels)
Smile, It’s Photo Day!:
Have you ever looked at the giant Major League video boards around the country and wondered when those photos were taken? You’re about to find out. The Mariners annual photo day took place today and photographers from MLB Photos, Getty Images, USA Today Photos, Associated Press, MLB International, MLB.com and Topps Baseball Cards were present to capture the smiles.
Speaking of Photos:
Sr. Director of Marketing Gregg Greene got pretty artistic with his photos this morning. During photo day he took advantage of a great sunrise to capture some great shots. Be sure to follow him on twitter at @RealGregg.
Felix Hernandez Throws His First Bullpen:
The King took the mound this morning for his first bullpen session of the spring and tossed 30 pitches. Felix said he felt good and would only need a few more sessions to be ready to move on to live hitters and eventually Opening Day. Following his bullpen, he chatted with the media about what was the beginning of his preparation for the season.
Catchers Getting Their Work In:
The catching crew got their work in, working on their blocking skills in between catching bullpen sessions. Mariners great Dan Wilson led the drill and kept firing away to make sure the backstops got their work in.
Mixing It Up:
Now that the full squad is here, the team was able to work on base running and pickoff throws and also had pitchers throw live BP. Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez was one of the first who stepped on the mound and started firing towards the plate.
Mariners Filming TV Commercials:
As you may have noticed on twitter, the Mariners are filming the Award Winning commercials this week in Peoria Arizona. As you can see in the photo below, Felix Hernandez is joined by a large cast of characters (teammates) in his 2015 spot.
Rawlings In Mariners Camp:
Rawlings arrived in camp today and showed off some of their products for the players. Whether they use Rawlings gloves or not, players were able to check out the large selection.
The Trinity Bat company was also in camp to let players browse their merchandise and Willie Bloomquist took advantage by looking through their stock.
Tweet of the Day:
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / 40 Days ‘til Opening Day (April 6 vs. Los Angeles Angels)
First Full Squad Workout:
The Mariners full squad took the field for workouts today and it gave fans a little bit of everything; hitting, pitching, fielding and the opportunity to meet some of their favorite stars.
First Workout Video:
They say pictures are worth a thousand words, we’ll stop typing so you can enjoy the following videos of today’s workout.
Boomstick Meets With Media:
After the workout, Nelson Cruz met with members of the media in the interview room to discuss his arrival at Spring Training and adjusting to his new surroundings.
MLB Players Association Meeting:
After today’s workout, the Major League Players Association met with the Mariners to talk about any questions they might have had.
MLBPA Executive Director Meets With Seattle Media:
After the Players Association meeting with the players, Tony Clark, the MLBPA Executive Director, met with members of the Seattle media. He spoke about pace of game, the collective bargaining agreement and the process that goes into that.
Cactus League Lunch:
The annual Cactus League Luncheon and Press Conference took place today at the newly renovated Peoria Sports Complex, which is home to the Seattle Mariners. Hall of Fame players, elected officials and MLB and spring training staff were present for the induction of Cactus League Hall of Famers.
New Balance In Camp:
New Balance was in camp today to drop off some of their products for the players that wear their brand and also spent time with the players showing them some of the products that are still in development.
Tweet of the Day:
All players have officially reported to camp and the first full-squad workout will be held Wednesday morning in Peoria, Arizona. Here is the official extended spring training roster, including a look at the 40-man roster, non-roster invitees, a picture roster and name pronunciations. Enjoy!
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 / 41 Days ‘til Opening Day (April 6 vs. Los Angeles Angels)
Move Along…Nothing to See Here, Folks:
Danny Farquhar looks good on the field striking opposing batters out…but he also wants you to know that he’s stylish in the dugout.
Until the position players take the field, more PFP down on the lower fields. Felix Hernandez, Roenis Elias, Mayckol Guaipe and others worked on fielding comebackers over on Field #4. They all looked pretty smooth with The King leading the way. The act of fielding grounders seems so simple, but it is still enjoyable to be out on the field watching the pros do it.
Kuma Throws A Bullpen:
Hisashi Iwakuma was among the pitchers who had a bullpen session this morning. He’s scheduled for another bullpen on Friday before facing hitters on Monday.
Robinson Cano Arrives:
Robinson Cano arrived in camp around noon today and took his physical, along with the rest of the position players. Following his physical, he met with the local media. You can read what he said on Mariners.com, SeattleTimes.com and TheNewsTribune.com and you can watch tonight on KING 5.
Just before Roenis Elias did an interview in English with Chris Egan‘s KING 5, he chatted with Misael Siverio for a few minutes. As you might remember from back in November, Siverio signed with the club after leaving Cuba a few years ago. Siverio is currently taking part in minor league mini-camp before their Spring Training begins.
DINGER Bats In Camp:
Over the course of the spring, various vendors (including bats and gloves) show up at the Mariners complex. Today, it was DINGER Bats, which is based in Ridgway, Illinois. They set up just outside the clubhouse and were available to whoever wanted to check out their products. Minor leaguer Jabari Blash was one of the players who checked out the inventory.
Fernando Meets The Media:
Fernando Rodney also tossed his first bullpen of the spring and then spent a few minutes talking with the media about why he’s in good spirits.
Tweet of the Day:
The Hot Stove returns to the airwaves tonight from 7-9 pm on 710 ESPN Seattle and Mariners.com. The show will be hosted by Rick Rizzs, Aaron Goldsmith and Dave Valle from the 710 ESPN studios for two hours of baseball talk.
Guests that are scheduled to join the show include infielder Chris Taylor, assistant hitting coach Andy Van Slyke, 710 ESPN beat reporter Shannon Drayer and New York Times national baseball writer Tyler Kepner. There will also be an interview with MLB Vice President Chris Marinak to discuss the new Pace of Play and Replay changes for the 2015 season.
The popular Cactus League Report from Peoria, Arizona debuts next Wednesday (March 4) and will air on 710 ESPN Seattle from 6-7 pm PT. The Cactus League Report will run on Wednesday’s this spring from the Salty Senorita in Peoria (except the 3/25 which will be part of a pregame show).
Monday, February 23, 2015 / 42 Days ‘til Opening Day (April 6 vs. Los Angeles Angels)
Taijuan Walker was amongst the pitchers who tossed their second bullpens of the Spring. The group that went today is the same group that had a bullpen session on Saturday, the first day of pitchers and catchers workouts.
When pitchers are pitching, you can be sure that evaluators will be evaluating. Mariners Director of Player Development Chris Gwynn and Special Assistant to the GM Roger Hansen were on hand to check out pitchers fielding practice (as usual), and Dan Wilson checked in on the catchers during bullpen sessions.
First Day of Mini Camp:
The Mariners have conducted a winter program for their minor league players for years, but this is the sixth year for a structured mini-camp that features 41 of the organizations top prospects that are not already in Major League camp. The players went through physicals first thing this morning and were already out of the field at 2 pm in the afternoon. Mini Camp is designed to refine the skills of young players under the close eyes of that organization coaching staff. Like instructional league in fall, Mini Camp allows guys to carry over what they learned directly into the minor league season.
Among players taking part in the mini-camp included pitchers Edwin Diaz, Luiz Gohara, Daniel Missaki, Tyler Pike and Ryan Yarbrough and position players Joe DeCarlo, Gabby Guerrero, Austin Jackson, Gareth Morgan, Jack Reinheimer, Tyler Smith and Austin Wilson. Mini Camp will run through March 8.
Once Mini Camp concludes the rest of the organizational players will report for Minor League Spring Training. Pitchers and catchers report on March 9 and will have their first workout on March 11, while the position players will report March 14 with the full squad working out on March 16. Minor League Spring Training games run from March 21 through April 4 and will break camp and head to one of the Mariners four full season affiliations on April 7 and begin regular season games on April 9.
Willie Bloomquist on GMA…No, Not That GMA:
Arizona resident Willie Bloomquist was on Good Morning Arizona to talk about getting ready for Spring Training in the updated complex. In the video, you’ll also get some updates from Peoria’s Chris Calcaterra on the upgraded Peoria Stadium and from Mariners Safeco Field Team Store Manager Mary Beeman about the new and improved team store in Arizona.
MLB Network Checks In With Mariners:
Mariners General Manager Jack Zduriencik and Manager Lloyd McClendon both checked in with MLB Network this morning. Zudriencik was on the Hot Stove show with Harold Reynolds and Matt Vasgergian, while McClendon chatted with Sam Ryan.
Since We’re On The Subject of Visitors:
FoxSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi dropped in to camp and checked in with Lloyd McClendon, Felix Hernandez and James Paxton among others. Be on the lookout for his work when it gets posted.
KING 5 Has Arrived:
KING 5’s Chris Egan has arrived in Mariners camp so be sure to tune in to catch the latest highlights from camp. Egan will be in town for a while, checking in for one-on-ones with players and staff including McClendon and Taijuan Walker.
Waiting for Bullpens to Begin:
The position players have almost arrived, but the pitchers are still hard at work working on fielding drills and tossing bullpens. With so many pitchers in camp during Spring Training, the catchers are pulling double-duty. Here’s a brief moment of rest captured by Seattle Times photographer Bettina Hansen. He sure to follow her on twitter for great shots of Mariners camp.
Spring Training Media Availability:
Each year, the general managers and field managers of all 15 Arizona-based Clubs in Spring Training are invited to participate in two separate hour-long periods of media availability. This year, they took place at the Arizona Biltmore and Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. was also available. The sessions serve as a preview of the 2015 season as Spring Training gets underway.
Sunday, February 22, 2015 / 43 Days ‘til Opening Day (April 6 vs. Los Angeles Angels)
Pitchers and catchers once again took the field for workouts, with all of them going through drills and shifting from field to field to work on different areas of their game. New and not-so-new Mariners are getting to know each other a little better, including left-handers Joe Saunders and J.A. Happ. Both lefties had their first bullpen sessions this morning.
Speaking of Bullpens:
Another group of pitchers had their first bullpen sessions today including Saunders, Happ, Hisashi Iwakuma, Rafael Perez, Danny Farquhar and Charlie Furbush. The most intriguing bullpen session was left-hander Danny Hultzen who is healthy after battling an injury last season. “The whole process went smoother than I thought, having talked to people who’d had arm surgeries and gone through a lot of ups and downs,” said Hultzen to MLB.com’s Greg Johns. “Luckily I never really went through that, knock on wood. I felt good the entire time and didn’t have any major setbacks or anything like that.”
Japan Watches The Bear:
Hisashi Iwakuma tossed his full bullpen and afterwards, was available to the media. As you’ll see below, the Japanese media contingent also wanted to get Manager Lloyd McClendon‘s thoughts on the right-hander.
So You Think You Can Dance…As Good as Fernando?:
As you know, players come to Spring Training to get ready for the season. While players like Fernando Rodney are serious about getting their work in, he also knows how to have fun. At several points during the workout, he paused for a dance break.
Green Screen Fun:
As you may have noticed, the Mariners Vision production crew is in town talking to each player and filming some videos for the board. Check out the video to see how they set up the green screen room.
Mariners Commercials Being Filmed This Week:
Mariners VP of Marketing Kevin Martinez and the rest of his crew arrived in Arizona today. As you can see from the photo below, Sr. Director of Marketing Gregg Greene is excited.
University of Washington Huskies vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys:
The Huskies were in town and played against Oklahoma State in the final game at Peoria Stadium before the Mariners Cactus League schedule begins. Unfortunately, the Huskies dropped a 12-2 decision. Oklahoma State alum and current Mariners video coordinator Jimmy Hartley was at the game and shared this photo on Instagram.
Starting tomorrow night on Mariners Mondays on ROOT SPORTS – three gems from Hisashi Iwakuma.
Kuma had his split-finger fastball working on May 8 against the Kansas City Royals. In his second start of the season, Iwakuma struck out seven and walked none over eight innings for a 1-0 shutout against the eventual American League Champs. Iwakuma scattered four singles and only one baserunner reached second.
On July 12, Hisashi Iwakuma Bobblehead Night, Kuma bounced back after a couple of tough outings with a solid 8 2/3 innings. His outstanding pitching effort got a boost from Kyle Seager and Robinson Cano, who both homered, for a 6-2 win over the Oakland Athletics. Kuma struck out five of the first six batters he retired and allowed only five hits. Iwakuma’s scoreless innings streak was snapped at 20 in the 9th inning when Brandon Moss hit a two-run home run.
The Mariners offense gave Iwakuma an early lead in his August 19 start at Philadelphia, and he shut down the Phillies offense for a 5-2 win. Kuma struck out a season-high 11 batters over eight scoreless innings. Fernando Rodney preserved the win in the 9th when he was called in with two outs and the tying run at the plate. Rodney struck out Cody Asche for his 36th save.
Mariners Mondays episodes air at 7pm on ROOT SPORTS through March leading up to the April 6th Opening Day game against the Los Angeles Angels at Safeco Field.
Saturday, February 21, 2015 / 44 Days ‘til Opening Day (April 6 vs. Los Angeles Angels)
The Mariners Take The Field:
Felix Hernandez led the pitchers and catchers out on the field for the first day of workouts. Pitchers stretched, played catch, did some PFP (Pitchers Fielding Practice) and for some of them, threw their first bullpens of the spring. Baseball is back!
ROOT SPORTS Has You Covered:
Just like in previous years, ROOT SPORTS is down in Peoria shooting video during Spring Training not just for their shows, but for regional TV stations and newspapers to share with their audiences. Be on the lookout for Mariners clips on Mariners.com, MLB Network, ESPN, Fox Sports 1, your local news stations as well as local newspapers including the Seattle Times and The News Tribune. Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) has also got your covered with great insights and photography over on Mariners.com and his blog.
After stretching and warming up, pitchers got together with their groups to go over the day’s agenda. This particular group includes Carson Smith, Dominic Leone, Roenis Elias, Taijuan Walker, Jordan Pries and Forrest Snow getting instructions from pitching coach Rick Waits and Terry Clark.
If you make it down to Peoria to watch the Mariners workouts, you’ll notice there is music blaring from the tower that is in the middle of the “cloverleaf” (the four lower fields that are used for workouts). Mariners video coordinator Jimmy Hartley has been in charge of the music since Manager Lloyd McClendon arrived, and this year he upgraded his sound system for all to enjoy. DJ Jimmy has emerged as one of the most entertaining DJs in Peoria. His distinct style of mixing and blending classic party music, spans every genre from AC/DC to Jay-Z, 80′s to pop. He has performed with everyone from The Black Eyed Peas, Bon Jovi, Rob Thomas, Busta Rhymes…okay, he hasn’t performed with any of those stars, but he still puts together a rather eclectic and entertaining mix of music.
First Bullpens of the Spring:
Some of the Mariners pitchers tossed their first bullpens of the spring this morning. The groups included Taijuan Walker, Roenis Elias, Mike Kickham, David Rollins, Erasmo Ramirez, Mayckol Guaipe, Carson Smith, Dominic Leone, Jordan Pries, Forrest Snow and Mark Lowe. On Sunday, pitchers taking the mound will include Hisashi Iwakuma, J.A. Happ, Danny Hultzen, Stephen Landaruzi, Danny Farquhar, Lucas Luetge, Charlie Furbush, Rafael Perez, Tyler Olson, Justin Germano and Sam Gaviglio.
Iwakuma Meets Japanese Media:
Hisashi Iwakuma met with the Japanese media after today’s workout and talked about the off-season and arriving in Arizona for Spring Training.
Meet The Mariners:
If you’ve been to Peoria before, you know that there’s a good chance you’re going to meet some Mariners. If you’re thinking about coming down here, do it. As you’ll see below, plenty of players are more than willing to sign autographs and pose for pictures.
As you read earlier in this blog, here are a few videos that Kevin Vocht of ROOT SPORTS shot earlier today.
“Scout” Does Some Scouting:
Players aren’t the only ones you can meet during workouts. Five-year-old “Scout” the Golden Retriever arrived for his fourth spring training and the friendly pup would love for you to come over and say hi.
Tweet of the Day: