Mariners Spring Training Update – Day 8

A panoramic view of Mariners practice inside the batting cages.

The view of Mariners practice inside the batting cages.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 / 2 Days ‘til Cactus League Opener (Friday, Feb. 22 vs. San Diego) / 40 Days ‘til Opening Night (April 1 at Oakland) / 49 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle (April 8 vs. Houston)

On the Field (Sort Of):
The rainy (and cold) weather pushed the workouts into the batting cages. Two of the batting cages were used for BP, one utilizing a pitching machine throwing exclusively breaking balls. The other two cages were cleared away and used as bullpens where the pitchers got their work in.

Felix Takes the Mound:
Felix Hernandez
took the mound for the first time this spring, throwing approximately 33 pitches in a bullpen session. He threw primarily fastballs and change-ups, and afterwards told the media “he felt great and was happy to get back on the mound.”

Felix Hernandez throws his bullpen while pitching coach Carl Willis looks on. (Greg Johns/MLB.com)

Felix Hernandez throws his bullpen while pitching coach Carl Willis looks on. (Greg Johns/MLB.com)

Lights, Camera, Action:
The annual Mariners Commercials filmed for the second day, this time indoors at a house in Central Phoenix. Raul Ibañez and several children were on hand for this spot. Tomorrow Eric Wedge, Kyle Seager, Dustin Ackley and Michael Morse are scheduled to be on set in Peoria to wrap up the commercial shoots.

Cactus League Starters Announced:
The starting pitchers for the first three Cactus League games vs. the Padres have been announced:

  • Friday – RHP Hector Noesi vs. RHP Sean O’Sullivan
  • Saturday – RHP Blake Beavan vs. RHP Tyson Ross
  • Sunday – RHP Erasmo Ramirez vs. RHP Freddy Garcia

All three games start at 1:05 pm Arizona/12:05 pm Seattle and will be broadcast by Rick Rizzs and Aaron Goldsmith on the Mariners Radio Network (710 ESPN Seattle).

MLB Network in Camp:
The MLB Network was in Peoria today, preparing their 30 in 30 show to air today at 3 pm and 5 pm (PT) tonight. Michael Morse got the day started with a bang, photobombing Ken Rosenthal on live TV at 7 am, then doing a live interview at 7:15 with Harold Reynolds and Matt Vasgersian. Eric Byrnes and the MLB group interviewed GM Jack Zduriencik, Dustin Ackley, Raul Ibañez and Tom Wilhelmsen, and spent some time with Justin Smoak in the batting cage talking about what hitters work on when they are hitting off a tee. The show, like the rest of the day, was a bit of a scramble with the weather, but the skies cleared in time for the MLBN to film Felix Hernandez on the field.

Here is video of the Morse interview:

Tweet of the Day:

Rain, and Lots of It
Most of today’s workout was forced indoors, including batting practice, bullpens and conditioning. Some pitchers were able to get out on the field for some long toss. It started raining around 8 am, and let up for a while. But later in the afternoon, especially when Raul Ibañez was making the cross-town trek to the commercial shoot, thunder, lightning and hail were all happening in Phoenix.

Ran, rain, and more rain.

Rain, rain, and more rain.

Weather:
We’ll chalk this up as just one of those rare Arizona days where the sunshine was drowned out by clouds and rain. Hopefully this will be one of the only rainy days this spring.

On Tap Tomorrow (Thursday, February 21):
The squad is scheduled to stretch at 9:30 am on Field #3, but will have a 30-minute team meeting prior going over offensive and defensive signs. The team fundamental will be pop-up communication and Live BP is scheduled to run from 11:05-12:20pm. And of course the Cactus League lid lifter is just around the corner on Friday at 1:05 pm vs. the Padres at Peoria Stadium.

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