Mariners Spring Training Update – Day 11
Saturday, February 23, 2013 / 37 Days ‘til Opening Night (April 1 at Oakland) / 44 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle (April 8 vs. Houston)
All These Mariners Care:
This morning, the 61 players in camp and manager Eric Wedge, signed nearly 10,000 autographs (including items that the whole team signed) in under an hour. The Mariners community relations department has spent months planning and organizing today’s team-wide charity signing frenzy. The balls, bats, photos and other items signed today will be used by the Mariners throughout 2013 season for auction donations, in-stadium giveaways, hospital visits and other charitable causes. Last year, Mariners Care, the team’s non-profit foundation provided over $1 million to various charitable causes, primarily youth-oriented community service programs.
Outside of the time signing autographs for the Community Relations Department, it was a pretty typical gameday morning in camp. The team took the field at 9:30 for stretch, this time being split up on Fields #1 & #2. Batting practice ran for about an hour from 10:15-11:15, while two pitchers (Joe Saunders and Hisashi Iwakuma) threw live batting practice. Felix Hernandez also threw his second bullpen of the spring (and looked really good I might add).
Mariners Pick Up First Spring Win:
Powered by 2-run home runs from Jason Bay, Justin Smoak and Mike Jacobs, the Mariners picked up their first Cactus League victory in a 8-6 win over the Padres. Starting pitcher Blake Beavan worked 2.0 shutout innings, and a host of Mariners reliever dominated the Padres until a 5-run 9th inning. LHP Danny Hultzen racked up a pair of strikeouts and needed only 7 pitches (and 7 strikes) in his perfect inning of work. You can view a full box score and recap on Mariners.com.
Game time temperature was 60° with clear blue skies. Still a little “chilly” for the locals, but just about perfect for anyone else (considering it is still winter).
C the Z:
Every once in a while there is something new I see on the walls of the Mariners complex that piques my interest. Today it was a plaque for the “C the Z” Players of the Year (pictured below). Turns out it is a pretty interesting (and new) award that is part of our player development creed. C the Z was developed by Minor League Field Coordinator Jack Howell and stands for “Control the Zone”. It mainly details the philosophy of our player development staff and the approach to improving plate discipline / approach at the plate with our hitters, along with pitch command / attacking hitters with our pitchers. The players that receive the award each Spring have shown the most dedication to improving this aspect of their game. Last year’s award winners were Brandon Maurer and Guillermo Pimentel.
The City of Peoria put on its annual street fair along 83rd Avenue following today’s game, including a concert by Mark McGrath and Sugar Ray.
A few members of the Mariners front office are going to make the cross-valley trek to Tempe tonight to watch the University of Washington Huskies take on Arizona State in Pac-12 basketball action.
On Tap Tomorrow (Sunday, February 24):
Tomorrow will basically be a carbon-copy of today’s schedule…9:30 stretch, BP from 10:15-11:15, break for lunch at 11:15 and a 1:05 pm game (12:05 in Seattle) vs. the Padres. Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez is scheduled to start on the mound for Seattle vs. former Mariner Freddy Garcia.