Mariners Spring Training Update – Day 8

Mariners Spring Training Update

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 / 40 Days ‘til Opening Night (March 31 at Los Angeles Angeles) / 49 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle (April 8 vs. Angels).

Setting the Scene:
Mariners camp was in full swing for the second time with 68 players on the field today. The group drills remained the same as yesterday, splitting into groups for pitchers and position players but there were definitely more eyes watching workouts. Fans are already excited about the current team and that excitement will surely increase as the season opener draws closer.

 While Felix Hernandez didn’t have to throw a bullpen today, he did stand around and watch his fellow teammates get their work in.

 Among those who had side sessions this morning were:

 Group 1: Fernando Rodney, Randy Wolf, Mark Rogers, Brandon Maurer & James Paxton.

Group 2: Yoervis Medina, Bobby LaFromboise, Charlie Furbush, Danny Farquhar, Zach Miner & Hector Noesi.

Group 3: Logan Bawcom, Carson Smith, Roenis Elias, Jonathan Arias, Ramon Ramirez & Steve Kohlscheen.


Cano taking batting practice.

Happy Birthday Dave:
Thinking of Dave Niehaus on what would have been his 79th birthday.


Lights, Camera, Action:

Since 1993, the Seattle Mariners have trained in Peoria, Arizona. And since 1994, another segment of the Mariners family has descended upon Peoria every February with the exception of one year. It’s the creative and production team which works on the Mariners television commercials. The commercials are the result of a creative collaboration between the Mariners and Seattle agency Copacino+Fujikado. The commercials are shot on location in Peoria, Arizona, and directed by Blue Goose Productions of Mercer Island.

The groups have been brainstorming and planning the commercials the last few months and will spend the next two days shooting four spots. Felix Hernandez, Robinson Cano, Hisashi Iwakuma, Brad Miller, Kyle Seager, Charlie Furbush and Manager Lloyd McClendon are all expected to make an appearance in the commercials this year.


Robinson Cano participating in commercial shoot.

Vote #FelixHernandez for #FaceofMLB:

Felix Hernandez is up against Reds first baseman Joey Votto in the latest round of the MLB Network Face of MLB Challenge. Mariners fans have until 5 am PT/8 am ET to tweet or retweet #FelixHernandez and #FaceofMLB. Every tweet and RT counts if it has those hashtags.

 Major League Baseball’s most popular players having been square off against each other the last couple of weeks as fans decide which player from all 30 MLB clubs best represents the league in MLB Network’s second “Face of MLB” competition. Felix defeated Pirates centerfielders Andrew McCutchen and Phillies second baseman Chase Utley in the first two rounds, but currently in a dead heat with Votto.

King Felix

King Felix

Video Game Head Scans:
Sony was in camp today getting head scans for their video game MLB The Show. Once players have gone through the head scan process they don’t have to do it again. It is a pretty elaborate set up that takes less than 10 minutes, but literally takes pictures and scans every feature of the players head. This year outfielder Abraham Almonte, infielder Brad Miller and right-handed pitcher Hector Noesi each spent time in the chair getting their head scanned. MLB The Show has released a new and updated version since 2006.


Abraham Almonte

Major League Baseball Players Association was also in camp today collecting signatures from players for their charitable auctions throughout the season. Since 1996, the Major League Baseball Players Trust has touched the lives of thousands of disadvantaged people in hundreds of communities around the world. The charitable foundation was created by Major Leaguers to help those less fortunate by facilitating players’ efforts to volunteer in support of causes close to their hearts and encouraging others to do the same. MLBPA has provided more than $13 million in total contributions to date. Felix Hernandez, Logan Morrison, Kyle Seager and Robinson Cano were a few of the players that took time out of their morning to sign baseballs, balls and jerseys.

Felix signing

Felix signing for MLBPA.

Uniform fitting:
Majestic, the official uniform provider of Major League Baseball, spent the morning the clubhouse fitting everyone for their uniforms. Jersey sizes are pretty standard for most players, but players are very particular about the how their pants fit. RHP Felix Hernandez likes to wear his pants a little bag and all the way down to the bottom of his cleats, while shortstop Brad Miller likes to wear his pants above his knees and stirrups underneath.

Picking out your bat:

The Old Hickory Bat Company was in Peoria spending time at both the Mariners and Padre complexes today to have guys try their bats for the upcoming season. Brad Miller, Dustin Ackley, John Hicks, James Jones, Stefen Romero, Justin Smoak and Mike Zunino all use Old Hickory bats.


Different styles of Old Hickory bats.

Another beautiful day in Peoria with hardly a cloud in the sky and temperatures in the low 80s. More sunshine and baseball in the forecast for the next few days.

Quote of the Day:

“Hey, you’re the guy that keeps butt dialing me.”

Manager Lloyd McClendon said after meeting Seattle Times columnist Larry Stone this morning.

Seattle Times columnist Larry Stone arrived in Peoria yesterday. When he walked into Manager Lloyd McClendon’s office this morning he went and introduced himself. The two shook hands and then there was an awkward pause until Lloyd blurted out “Hey, you’re the guy that keeps butt dialing me.”  Yes..that is correct Stoney admitted that for some reason he will occasionally pocket dial Lloyd on accident. I think we have all had that person that our phone dialed on accident, but usually it is the first person in our contact list. For some unknown reason, Stoney’s phone dials Lloyd. I have a funny feeling that Lloyd is not the only person that has received a random pocket call from Larry. Stoney, who is also best known for his ++++++ tweets, driving away with a gas pump still in tank and his love for Red Robin (stopped there for lunch today), will be in town for the next week preparing for upcoming columns and Mariners Special Section content.

Tweets of the Day:

On Tap Tomorrow (Feb. 20):
Workouts continue tomorrow at 9:30 am. Though the one change will be the start of live BP. Pitchers Matt Palmer, James Gillheeney, Dominic Leone, Chance Ruffin, Lucas Luetge, Andrew Carraway, Nick Hill Tom Wilhelmsen, Anthony Fernandez, Logan Kensing, Erasmo Ramirez and Blake Beavan are each scheduled to throw against the Mariners batters tomorrow. Also right-handed pitchers Felix Hernandez and Taijuan Walker are expected to throw their second bullpens tomorrow.

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