Mariners Spring Training Update – Day 4

Manager Eric Wedge talking to the team before the first full-squad workout.

Manager Eric Wedge talking to the team before the first full-squad workout.

Saturday, February 16, 2013 / 6 Days ‘til Cactus League Opener (Feb. 22 vs. San Diego) / 44 Days ‘til Opening Night (April 1 at Oakland) / 53 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle (April 8 vs. Houston)

First Full Squad Day:
Big day at the Peoria Sports Complex as (nearly) all the position players were in camp. With the pitchers having their last bullpen day, the Mariners used all six fields (plus the half field) for workouts today.

The day started with the pitchers doing their running at 8 AM. The full camp team meeting ran from 9 to 10, with everyone from CEO Howard Lincoln to the front office staff to the minor league coaches being introduced to the team. Members of the Mariners Community Relations staff were among the first to speak to the team, stressing the importance of every player being involved in the community. GM Jack Zduriencik spoke for about 10 minutes, and members of the training, clubhouse, medical and public relations staff also spoke. Everyone but the players and coaching staff were then cleared out and Eric Wedge addressed the team.

Here are some video links of interviews following today’s workout:

Eric Wedge:

Kyle Seager:

Kendrys Morales:

The club took the field at just after 10 am, and the last players (the catchers, naturally) were not done until nearly 1 pm.

Kyle Seager during batting practice.

Kyle Seager during batting practice.

Big Boy Group:
The first hitters group to take batting practice on Field 1 today included Michael Morse, Raul Ibañez, Kendrys Morales and Jason Bay. It would be fair to say they announced their presence with authority. Bay was responsible for the first longball of the spring, sending one over the left-center field fence. Morse, hitting next, hit a deep drive to left and, while the crowd was still admiring that one, he hit a ball over the hitters backdrop in straightaway center field (that’s a 30-foot fence 410-feet away from home). His next round featured three balls that ended up in the rolling to the Peoria Stadium walls. That involves clearing the fences on Field 1, the parking lot beyond, and over another fence that is 30 feet from the Stadium. Morales, Ibañez and Bay all began pounding balls in their second and third rounds.

The Kind of Stuff I Don’t Think Of:
Each Mariners player has their own batting helmet, and each helmet is identified by player number. If you were in the clubhouse today, you would have seen Assistant Clubhouse Manager Billy Sepich with a stack of helmets and a stack of stick-on numbers. The Mariners logo, and player numbers, have to be affixed (very precisely) to each helmet, and Billy is the guy who has to do it.

Another beautiful day in Peoria with hardly a cloud in the sky and temperatures in nearing 80 degrees. More sunshine and baseball in the forecast for the next few days.

Pitchers conditioning as the sun rises in Peoria.

Pitchers conditioning as the sun rises in Peoria.

Tweet of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“That ball has a chance”
– A very dry comment from 1B Justin Smoak watching a Michael Morse fly ball that eventually flew 30 feet over and 50 feet beyond the left field fence.

On Tap Tomorrow (Feb. 17):
Tomorrow is the second full-squad workout with the team scheduled to hit the field at 9:30 am. All four fields on the lower “cloverleaf” will be in use, including for the ‘fundamental of the day’: bunt defense.

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