Mariners Spring Training Update – Day 19

The Mariners celebrating 9th straight Cactus League win.

The Mariners celebrating 9th straight Cactus League win.

Sunday, March 3, 2013 / 29 Days ‘til Opening Night (April 1 at Oakland) / 36 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle (April 8 vs. Houston)

Felix Throws Simulated Game:
Felix Hernandez
threw a simulated game on Field #3 of the Mariners complex to a group of five minor league hitters: Joe DeCarlo, Martin Peguero, Gabriel Guerrero, Dario Pizzano and Luke Guarnaccia. Felix threw 39 pitches and allowed what the media corps considered one hit, a line drive to center field by Guerrero. Felix said he felt great and says he is on schedule to make his Cactus League debut next Thursday, but manager Eric Wedge and pitching coach Carl Willis will likely formalize the pitching rotation for the week tomorrow morning.

King Felix throwing his simulated game.

King Felix throwing his simulated game.

Pretty Cool for the Youngsters:
After Felix Hernandez talked with the media, Joe DeCarlo was asked a few questions about facing Felix. The Mariners 2nd round selection in last June’s MLB Draft (64th overall) said it was a pretty “awesome” experience.

“He’s pretty nasty, and that’s why he is the best. It was awesome to face him and see what his stuff looks like,” said DeCarlo.

Following his short meeting with the media, Joe took some time to take photos for Topps Baseball Cards.

And Dario Pizzano, the Mariners 15th round selection out of Columbia University who hit .354 (74×209) with Pulaski and Everett in his first pro season tweeted the following:

Mariners Win 9th Straight:
The Mariners won their ninth consecutive Cactus League game, defeating the Texas Rangers 7-6 at Surprise Stadium. The Mariners scored six times in the first three innings, plating two runs in each of the first three frames, to build a lead they would never relinquish. Kendrys Morales (#1) and Jesus Montero (#1) each homered, giving Seattle 22 home runs in 10 games this spring (by 15 different players), the most in baseball (Cactus or Grapefruit League).The Mariners jumped to a quick 2-0 lead, as Jason Bay walked and Morales drilled a 2-0 pitch high on the grass berm in center field with one out in the first inning. Seattle added another pair in the second as Montero, Mike Zunino and Brendan Ryan all doubled, and the Mariners expanded the lead to 6-0 on a two-run homer from Montero in the third inning. Seattle starter Joe Saunders (1-0) picked up the win, tossing 2.0 shutout innings in his first start (second appearance) of the spring. You can view a full box score and recap on Mariners.com. And here are some video highlights from the game via MLB.com.

Winning Streak:

The Mariners 9-game win streak is the longest in a single spring training in club history, besting an 8-game streak March 28-April 4, 1993. The Mariners and Kansas City Royals both have current 9-game Cactus League winning streaks.

Good Luck Guys:
Today was the last day in camp for Michael Saunders (Canada), Alex Liddi (Italy) and Oliver Perez (Mexico) before they report to their respective teams for the World Baseball Classic. WBC play is already underway with pool play in Fukuoka, Japan and Taichung, Taiwan, and pool play here in Phoenix begins Thursday (March 7) with Italy facing Mexico (Liddi vs. Perez) at Salt River Fields (1 p.m.). You can follow the all the action via http://www.worldbaseballclassic.com or on twitter at @WBCBaseball.

World Baseball Classic.

World Baseball Classic.

Saunders Will Wear #20:
Michael Saunders
told us today he will wear #20 when he takes the field for Team Canada later this week in their first round game Friday vs. Italy at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale. Saunders wore #20 a lot when he was coming up through the Mariners farm system, and wanted to wear his customary #55, but that was reserved for catcher Russell Martin (prior to him backing out). We look forward to watching Michael, Oliver and Alex represent their native countries in the WBC.

Tweet of the Day:

Surprise!:
The Mariners made the 11.8 mile trek from Peoria Stadium to Surprise Stadium (10.2 if you braved Bell Road) for the first time since 2011. Seattle did not play a game in Surprise last spring, missing away games vs. the Royals and Rangers, primarily due to the trip to Japan. The Mariners have had success at Surprise Stadium, going 16-8-1 all-time, including winning 8 of the last 12.

Surprise Stadium.

Surprise Stadium.

Cloudy and Warm:
After a sunny and warm day yesterday, some clouds rolled into the Valley today. It was still pretty warm, with first pitch temperature at 73°. A few of the players commented that it was almost “room temperature” outside, which was not at all a complaint.

The Road to Omaha:
Immediately following today’s game vs. the Rangers, the college kids took over as No. 24 Arizona State Sun Devils vs. Jason Bay’s Gonzaga Bulldogs faced off in the final game of the Surprise College Classic. The Sun Devils have had a great weekend, going 3-0 including a pair of wins over No. 2 Arkansas. And do to a great observation by 710 ESPN Seattle reporter Shannon Drayer we were reminded that the Zags have a freshman catcher named Jimmy Sinatro out of Skyline High School in Sammamish, the son of former Mariners coach Matt Sinatro.

Gonzaga catcher Jimmy Sinatro, son of former Mariners coach Matt Sinatro.

Gonzaga catcher Jimmy Sinatro, son of former Mariners coach Matt Sinatro.

It’s a Small World:
As you know, the World Baseball Classic is already underway in Japan and Taiwan. In fact, one of Seattle’s official scorers is working all the games in Taiwan. Eric Radovich, who scores a little over half of Seattle’s home games (as well as serving as a back-up PA announcer in Safeco Field) is in Taichung, Taiwan for 10 days doing the first round WBC games. It is his second trip to Taiwan in the last six months on behalf of Major League Baseball.

Welcome to Arizona Mike:
TV broadcaster Mike Blowers arrived for duty today, and called a few innings on the radio broadcast with Dave Sims and Aaron Goldsmith. Blowers will have a short stay on his first of two trips to Arizona this spring, heading back to Washington following tomorrow’s TV game vs. the Rockies (ROOT Sports, 12:05 pm PT).

Spring TV Debut Tomorrow:
The first televised game of 2013 Spring Training is tomorrow, when the Mariners host the Colorado Rockies. It will be a game fans in the Northwest won’t want to miss, as pitching prospects Danny Hultzen and Taijuan Walker are both scheduled to pitch multiple innings behind veteran starter Jon Garland. Tomorrow’s telecast will be a shared production with the Rockies, who will also carry the game in the Denver market.  Announcers Dave Sims and Mike Blowers will be joined by Rockies analyst Jeff Huson in the TV booth. ROOT SPORTS will also re-air the game at 10:30 pm PT Monday night.

On Tap Tomorrow (Monday, March 4):
The Mariners (9-1) continue Cactus League play hosting the Colorado Rockies (5-4) at Peoria Stadium (12:05 pm PT/1:05 pm MT). The game will be televised on ROOT Sports Northwest with Dave Sims, Mike Blowers and Rockies broadcaster Jeff Huson. Right-hander Jon Garland (1-0, 0.00) will make his second spring start against Rockies right-hander Juan Nicasio (0-1, 2.45). Mariners prospects Danny Hultzen and Taijuan Walker are also scheduled to pitch.

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