Mariners Spring Training Update – Day 9

Mariners Spring Training Update

Thursday, February 20, 2014 / 39 Days ‘til Opening Night (March 31 at Los Angeles Angeles) / 48 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle (April 8 vs. Angels).

Setting the Scene:
The Mariners hit the fields for the third day of full team workouts with one notable difference. For the first time this spring, pitchers were throwing live batting practice to the hitters. Right-handers Blake Beavan and Erasmo Ramirez were two of the pitchers who took part in throwing to live hitters, with Beavan saying that he felt good on the mound and got good feedback from the hitters and coaching staff after facing Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager to name a few.

There were only two pitchers who had normal bullpens instead of throwing to live hitters: Right-handers Felix Hernandez and Taijuan Walker. Both got their work in and went off to conditioning on field two…I’m guessing the hitters were not disappointed that they didn’t face those two this early in Spring Training.

Here’s the full list of who threw live BP:

Field #3: Matt Palmer, James Gillheeney, Dominic Leone, Chance Ruffin.

Field #4: Lucas Luetge, Andrew Carraway, Nick Hill.

Field #5: Tom Wilhelmsen, Anthony Fernandez, Logan Kensing.

Field #6: Erasmo Ramirez, Joe Beimel, Blake Beavan.

Photo Feb 20, 10 29 04 AM

Taijuan Walker and Felix Hernandez throwing in the bullpen.

Smile:
The Mariners PR staff got in the office before 6 am with two dozen donuts (and lots of coffee) to start setting up for photo day. Coaches started just after 6:45 am, while the players started trickling through at 7:00 am sharp. In all 68 players in Major League camp, coaches and many front office staff participated in the annual photo day in the multipurpose room at the Peoria Sports Complex which was over by 8:30 am.

Photo Feb 20, 8 32 14 AM

Fernando Rodney, Robinson Cano and Felix Hernandez posing together at Photo Day.

Lights, Camera, Action:

The Mariners Marketing department, Seattle agency Copacino+Fujikado and Blue Goose Productions are wrapping up the team commercials today. Felix Hernandez and Kyle Seager are both making their 2014 acting debut today. I am guessing it will take Felix less than 7 takes to get the money shot.

 Vote #FelixHernandez for #FaceofMLB:

Congratulations to Felix Hernandez for his victory over Reds first baseman Joey Votto in the latest round of the MLB Network Face of MLB Challenge. Felix trailed by a small percentage, before taking the lead late last night. The results litterally came down to the final seconds with Felix pulling out a victory by 0.4%. Felix will face the winner of the matchup between Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw and Mets third baseman David Wright.

Major League Baseball’s most popular players having been squaring 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 centerfielder Andrew McCutchen and Phillies second baseman Chase Utley in the first two rounds.

Player Signings Update:

The Mariners have agreed to contracts for the 2014 season with pitchers Logan Bawcom, Anthony Fernandez and James Paxton, catcher Mike Zunino, infielders Nick Franklin and Kyle Seager and outfielders Julio Morban and Stefen Romero. These signings bring the total of signed players on the Mariners Major League 40-man roster to 21. The remaining 19 Mariners will be signed or renewed by March 11.

Baseball America Top 100 Prospects:

Baseball America released his annual top 100 prospects with three Mariners players making the list. RHP Taijuan Walker was rated as the 11th-highest prospect, while infielder D.J. Peterson was 88th and left-handed James Paxton ranked 99th.

Taijuan Walker went 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in three starts with the Mariners last season.

Taijuan Walker

Mariners.com/MLB.TV:

Mariners.com and MLB.TV were participated in photo day grabbing guys for on-camera interviewer and to read liners. Even Mariners.com beat reporter Greg Johns switched roles for a short time and turned into an on-air talent to interview shortstop Brad Miller. Keep checking Mariners.com for all the latest and updated information on the Mariners.

2014-02-20 12.21.40

Greg Johns interviewing shortstop Brad Miller for Mariners.com and MLB.TV.

Photo Feb 20, 8 00 30 AM

Charlie Furbush holding a reflector while MLB.TV is interviewing teammate Logan Morrison.

Picking out your bat and glove:

Nearly every day in Spring training you will see a different bat, glove or clothing companies getting players setup for the season. Today was no different with both Louisville Slugger and Wilson in Peoria today.

Weather:
Temperature were a little cooler today reaching only in the mid-70s with wind gusts in the teens most of the morning. With it being so dry the last few weeks, the wind definitely bothered some people’s allergies.

Quote of the Day:

“It was great. He talked baseball, and I talked football. I told him what a hell of a football player I was, and he told me what a hell of a baseball player I was. We told a lot of lies.”

Manager Lloyd McClendon said after chatting with Steve Largent of the field today during workouts.

McClendon was a star running back for his high school team in Gary, Indiana.

Hall of Famer for the Seattle Seahawks and former U.S. House of Representatives for Oklahoma Steve Largent was a guest in camp this afternoon. After getting a tour of the new complex, Largent went outside to watch the end of the workouts. He chatted with Manager Lloyd McClendon and other players, including outfielder Michael Saunders.

Largent

Steven Largent and Lloyd McClendon.

Tweet of the Day:

On Tap Tomorrow (Feb. 20):
Workouts continue tomorrow at 9:30 am. Pitchers will continue to throw live batting practice, while both pitchers and position players will work on defensive drills.

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