Mariners Spring Training Update – Day 6
Mariners Spring Training Update
Monday, February 17, 2014 / 42 Days ‘til Opening Night (March 31 at Los Angeles Angeles) / 51 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle (April 8 vs. Angels).
Setting the Scene:
Happy President’s Day. While some people celebrated today’s national holiday with a day off, today marked the fifth day with pitchers and catchers on the field in Peoria. It was also the final day with only pitchers and catchers on the field as the full squad will begin workouts tomorrow.
The position players took their turn completing each part of the physicals today and will be out of the field officially for workouts at 10 am tomorrow morning.
The big news of the day was the first bullpen sessions for right-handed pitchers Felix Hernandez and Taijuan Walker. Both pitchers drew quite a crowd in the bullpen area and both said afterwards that everything went smooth. Felix threw just over 30 pitches and worked on all his pitches except for the slider, which will come later. He said he was a little wild at first, but calmed down and said at the end he felt great. Walker was limited to 25 pitches, all fastballs, in his first bullpen session. He said he felt great and looked forward to throwing again on Thursday. RHP Yoervis Medina was the only other pitcher to throw a bullpen today.
RHP Ramon Ramirez officially reported to camp and participated in workouts after being delayed by VISA issues the last couple of days.
The Best Fans in Baseball:
When Felix Hernandez finished his bullpen session this morning he spent about another 30 minutes signing about 75 autographs for the fans in attendance. He even took time to take a few picture with some of his youngest fans. Felix wasn’t the only player to stop and sign autographs after the workout. Taijuan Walker, Fernando Rodney, Charlie Furbush, John Buck, Mike Zunino and many others each took time to stop and sign for the fans.
When players took the field this morning at 9:30 am, the temperatures hovered in the mid-60z. By the time the team got off the field temperatures were already in the mid-80s. We are entering a slight cool down the next couple of days. Tomorrow is expected to be in the mid-80s before cooling to the upper 70s and low 80s the remainder of the week. Still fantastic weather to watch baseball!
Happy Birthday Danny Farquhar:
Today marked Danny Farquhar’s 27th birthday. He shares his birthday with current Major Leaguers Josh Willingham and Cody Ransom. Arguably one of the greatest basketball players of all-time Michael Jordan and NFL legend Jim Brown are also celebrating their birthdays today as well as celebrities Paris Hilton, Larry the Cable Guy, Billie Joe Armstrong and Lou Diamond Phillips.
Danny wrapped the day with a radio interview with Dave “Softy” Mahler on KJR Radio. He was then planning on spending the evening with his wife Lexie, daughter and extended family enjoying a barbeque that featured Dungeness King Crab and mahi mahi on the menu. Sounds delicious, but I wonder why I didn’t get the invite!
KING TV in Town:
Chris Egan and photographer Alan Reed arrived in Peoria today. The big question is how many different color polo shirst did Chris pack for his trip down here? Answer 27. You know he can’t wear the same shirt twice! Chris already talked to Manager Lloyd McClendon and pitchers Felix Hernandez and Taijuan Walker. Make sure you tune into KING TV for more of the interviews. Here is one little tidbit from his interview with Felix. When asked what sport Felix would participate in during the Winter Olympics, Felix responded with speed skating. After the interview was over Felix demonstrated his speed skating technique. Personally, I could see Felix participating in the luge or ski jumping!
Infielder Robinson Cano has arrived in Peoria and will participate in tomorrow’s first full squad workout. He is expected to meet with a large media group following his first workout as a member of the Seattle Mariners. While most position players take physicals today, Cano received a pass after taking a very extensive physical when he signed his contract in the offseason. There were a few national baseball writers all ready in camp preparing for Cano’s arrival.
Quote of the Day:
“I once failed a high school Spanish class,” said Mariners Bullpen Coach Mike Rojas said during an interview with ROOT Sports.
Mike later explained that he grew up in a family where they only spoke Spanish inside the home, but English everywhere else. He said in high school he used a different type of slang than the teacher was teaching. Once his parents found out he was failing that met with the teacher to clear things up. He ended up passing his class in the end.
Mike is in his first season with the Mariners after joining Manager Lloyd McClendon’s staff in November. He is the son of former MLB second baseman, coach, manager and scout Cookie Rojas and his brother Victor is the TV play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Did you know?…Mike was a bat boy for Kansas City in the early 1970s when his dad was member of the Royals. Also on that team was current Mariners Hall of Famer Lou Piniella. Mike said as a bat boy his job was to follow the players off the field and collect their bat and helmet. He said after an at-bat where Lou struck out he couldn’t find where he went. Mike eventually found Lou in the bathroom trying to shove his helmet down the toilet with his bat. He said he always remembered Lou for his feistiness as a player.
Tweet of the Day:
On Tap Tomorrow (Feb. 16):
Pitchers and catchers will hit the field again tomorrow morning at 9:30 am (Arizona time). The position players official report and will go through physicals throughout the day.