Mariners Spring Training Update – Day 17
Day 17 / Tuesday, February 28, 2012 / 29 Days ‘til Opening Night in Tokyo (March 28 vs. Oakland) / 45 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle (April 13 vs. Oakland)
It wasn’t much, but a few raindrops greeted coaches and players as they arrived at the complex this morning. After a big windstorm overnight, blue skies prevailed for very pleasant temperatures in the low 60’s for the morning workout. As the day went on, it actually got a lot colder, with the game being played with temps in the high 50’s…not that we are complaining or anything.
The club has settled into a “game” routine taking the field for stretch, team fundamental work and batting practice. This will be the normal routine pretty much the rest of spring with the Cactus League schedule quickly approaching. During the batting practice rounds, Mike Carp and Justin Smoak were crushing balls over the right field fence.
The team played the third Intrasquad game today. You can check out some game highlights from our earlier blog post. Michael Saunders continues to impress at the plate going 2-for-4 with a triple and a 3-run home run. Vinnie Catricala also went 2-for-4 with a solo home run. Jason Vargas allowed one run on 4 hits in 3.0 innings to earn the win.
LHP George Sherrill threw a live BP session…INF Brendan Ryan took infield today and is scheduled to play in tomorrow’s final Intrasquad game…Kyle Seager and John Jaso took groundballs at first base to become more versatile.
Quote of the Day:
“I look good!” Felix Hernandez when players and media were commending on his outfit of red shoes, white capri shorts, red shirt and red-framed sunglasses. The King does have style!
Ken Griffey Jr. has arrived in camp and will be around for a few days. In his role as Special Advisor to the Mariners, Junior will be around the complex working with players in both Major League and Minor League camp. Great to see his smile around camp.
Tweet of the Day:
Great to see Ken Griffey Jr in camp today. Couldnt ask for a better teammate!! Still the same guy #AllSmiles
— Brandon League (@BrandonLeague43) February 28, 2012
Announcer Dave Sims arrived in camp today and will team with Rick Rizzs to broadcast the first three Cactus League games on 710 ESPN Seattle…bat representatives from Trinity Bat Company and Old Hickory were in camp to show players their bat models…KJR Sports Radio added to its conglomerate down here as Ian Furness and Jason Puckett arrived just in time to host their show at the Salty Señorita.
Cactus League Opener:
We announced this morning that RHP Blake Beavan will start Friday’s Cactus League opener against the A’s at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. The game starts at 1:05 p.m. MT/12:05 p.m. PT and will be broadcast in Seattle on 710 ESPN Seattle and select stations on the Mariners Radio Network. RHP Graham Godfrey is scheduled to start for the A’s.
Mini-Camp Field Trip:
If you were in Peoria, you may have noticed a lot of players in white uniform pants watching practice. Turns out the group of mini-camp players had a “Field Trip” as part of their mental skills training. Rafael Colon, the Mariners mental training coach, set it up for the players to watch the big league camp practice and focus on several things. Colon wants to show the players the preparation some of the Major Leaguer go through, and also stress that the drills they do each day are also worked on at the Major League level. There were a lot of wide eyes when they saw the batting practice rounds of Jesus Montero, Mike Carp and Justin Smoak.
Foul Pole Toss:
There are a lot of things that go on behind the scenes that spring training that never see the light of day…until now. One of those things is the daily “Foul Pole Toss” conducted by the large group of clubbies and members of the coaching staff. Near the end of each day, a group of 10-15 congregate outside the Major League clubhouse with a bucket of baseballs. From a distance of roughly 100 feet, they take turns throwing baseballs at the foul pole. The person that hits the pole last (or does not hit it at all) has to pick up all the baseballs. And they keep a running track of leaders throughout the spring. Through Feb. 27, Ted Walsh, Ryan Stiles and Issac Ruiz have yet to have to pick up any baseballs. High Desert clubhouse manager Tony Gutierrez is the newest ringer to join the fun, hitting the pole on his very first throw.
The final (of four total) Intrasquad game will be held tomorrow at 1:05 p.m. on Field #1 of the Mariners complex in Peoria. LHP James Paxton and RHP Taijuan Walker are scheduled to be the starting pitchers. A full list of pitchers and the lineup will be posted tomorrow morning. Here is an updated listing of upcoming important dates:
Upcoming Important Dates:
Feb. 29 – Intrasquad #4 – 1:05 pm – Field #1
March 1 – Off day
March 2 – Cactus League opener (at OAK)
March 3 – Cactus League Peoria opener (vs. OAK)
March 4 – Seattle vs. San Diego (Charity Game at Peoria Stadium