Mariners Spring Training Update – Day 12

Day 12 / Thursday, February 23, 2012 / 34 Days ‘til Opening Night in Tokyo (March 28 vs. Oakland) / 50 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle (April 13 vs. Oakland)

Today’s workout started with temperatures hovering around 57° and climbed to over 70° as practice ended. There was a slight breeze on the practice fields when the guys were taking batting practice.

Today started with all the players signing autographs for the community relations department.

The Day:
Prior to the start of practice, the entire club spent the better part of an hour signing autographs for the community relations staff. Throughout the year, the Mariners donate a lot of items to numerous charities, give gifts to fans throughout the season and hand out items at community events. This was a time to get all the players together to handle all of the requests.

The workout was pretty compact and simple compared to other days. The pitchers had a short day with conditioning wrapping up around 11 am, giving them some rest with Intrasquad games coming up in four of the next six days. The position players ran through infield defense, concentrating on bunt defense. The group then split off and took batting practice on Fields 1 & 2, and ended practice with conditioning. As part of the conditioning, the players took turns sliding on specially made mats. After the workout was over and the fields nearly empty, Chone Figgins and Munenori Kawasaki retreated to the back fields and spent an additional 20 minutes taking grounders from Robby Thompson.

Robby Thompson hits grounders to Chone Figgins and Munenori Kawasaki following practice.

When running through the bunt defense drills, six minor leaguers came up from mini-camp to lend a hand on the basepaths: Brad Miller, Steven Proscia, Eric Campbell, Cavan Cohoes, Jharmidy De Jesus, Ramon Morla, Martin Peguero and Bryan Brito

This was the first time the full squad worked out on Fields #1 & 2, and it will remain this way throughout camp. With the upcoming Intrasquad games and Cactus League games starting March 2, it is customary for the Big League camp to practice on the upper fields.

Additional Tidbits:
Shortstop Brendan Ryan threw again before practice for 7 minutes…George Sherrill was the only Mariner pitcher to throw a bullpen today.

Brendan Ryan throws with athletic trainer Rob Nodine.

Quote of the Day:
“That would not have been good right there…may have shortened my career a bit.” Manager Eric Wedge when he was warming up prior to batting practice, and had to stop in mid throw as his ace starting pitcher (Felix Hernandez) ran in front of him.

A Day Off?:
Manager Eric Wedge told the team this morning that he was giving them a day off on Thursday, March 1. The team does not have a scheduled off day during the spring, so this will give the players (and coaches & staff) a much-needed breather before the Cactus League schedule starts the following day.

Lights, Camera, Action:
The Mariners Marketing crew was back at work in the second of three days of shooting their award-winning commercials. A group of 11 players and 2 coaches were scheduled to shoot their commercials this afternoon and tonight, including Ichiro, Brendan Ryan, Mike Carp, Kyle Seager, Chone Figgins, George Sherrill, Dustin Ackley, Justin Smoak, Franklin Gutierrez, Miguel Olivo, Casper Wells, Robby Thompson and Jeff Datz.

Camp Guests:
A couple of bat manufacturers, Max Bats and B45 Bats, were in camp to meet with players, including Casper Wells, Jesus Montero and Mike Carp.

Mark it Down:
The first of four Intrasquad games will be held tomorrow at 12:45 p.m. on Field #1 of the Mariners complex in Peoria. The game is scheduled to be 8 innings. Jason Vargas and Danny Hultzen are scheduled to be the starting pitchers. The first Cactus League game is in eight days on March 2 at Oakland (Phoenix Municipal Stadium). Here is an updated listing of recent schedule changes:

Intrasquad Games:
Feb. 24 – 12:45 pm – Field #1
Feb. 26 – 12:45 pm – Field #1
Feb. 28 – 12:45 pm – Field #1
Feb. 29 – 12:45 pm – Field #1
B Games:
March 5 at Cincinnati – 10 am
March 8 at Colorado – 10 am
Cactus League Game Addition:
March 16 vs. Milwaukee (at Tucson) – Split Squad – 1 pm

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– JE

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