Mariners Spring Training Update – Day 5
Sunday, February 17, 2013 / 5 Days ‘til Cactus League Opener (Friday, Feb. 22 vs. San Diego) / 43 Days ‘til Opening Night (April 1 at Oakland) / 52 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle (April 8 vs. Houston)
It appears as if the batting cage was replaced by a launching pad for the first group of hitters that went through batting practice: Jason Bay, Michael Morse, Raul Ibañez and Kendrys Morales. The foursome, who were all acquired during the offseason, were launching balls way over the fence, including this longball hit by Morse (as captured by Mariners Senior Director of Marketing Gregg Greene).
Outside of working on bunt defense, it was a pretty short day for the pitchers. Only right-handers Jeremy Bonderman and Jon Garland threw bullpens. Pitching coach Carl Willis was impressed with both of the newly acquired starters who have a ton of Major League experience.
Tribune to MJ:
A lot of players were talking about their favorite Michael Jordan moments as ESPN Sportscenter ran a 50th Birthday special on Jordan. Left-handed pitcher Joe Saunders, who will wear #23 this season, pointed to the jersey in his locker and said “this is my tribute to MJ.” Ironically, this is the first time Saunders will wear #23 in the Majors, wearing #68 & #51 with the Angels, #34 with the Diamondbacks and #48 with the Orioles.
Mini Camp Begins:
The Mariners Player Development Mini Camp got underway today with 37 players (plus come players coming off rehab) working out from 1-3:30 pm on the back fields. A majority of the minor league coaching staff will run the younger players through workouts leading up to the opening of minor league spring training beginning in early March. Look for a separate blog post that will be posted shortly detailing the players partaking in mini camp and their daily activities.
If you could bottle this day up, it would be worth repeating several times. The team worked out with temperatures in the low 60’s and with hardly a cloud in the sky. Throughout the day the temperature climbed and reached the mid 70’s. More high temps are expected in the mid 70’s over the next few days, but rain is in the forecast for Wednesday.
Tweets of the Day:
Quotes of the Day:
“Must be the batting gloves…”
– Jason Bay giving Michael Morse (and his teal batting gloves) a hard time after hitting a few tape-measure home runs.
Staff members from the MLBPA were in the clubhouse getting autographs on baseballs, photos and jerseys for various promotions…Old Hickory Bats made a stop in the clubhouse to have guys try their bats…the MLBPA also had a crew taking headscan photos of several players to make the video games you play more realistic.
On Tap Tomorrow (Monday, February 18):
Tomorrow will no-doubt be the longest day of workouts so far this spring. Stretch will take place at the normal time of 9:30 am on Field #3. After base running drills and 1st & 3rd team defense, the hitters will face live arms during batting practice. BP is scheduled to run from 11:05-12:35 on Fields 3, 4 & 5.