Mariners Spring Training Update – Day 11

Mariners Spring Training Update

Saturday, February 22, 2014 / 37 Days ‘til Opening Night (March 31 at Los Angeles Angeles) / 46 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle (April 8 vs. Angels).

Setting the Scene:
Well, that was quick! You can say a lot of things about the Mariners workouts, but you can’t say they aren’t efficient. The Mariners hit the field to stretch at 9:30 am and were off the fields by 11:20 am…it helped that the pitchers didn’t throw bullpens or live batting practice.

Efficient workout for the Mariners began with stretching on field three.

Efficient workout for the Mariners began with stretching on field three.

Good Form!
After briefly warming up down the left field line with the rest of the infielders, Robinson Cano stopped at shortstop on his way to second base, bent his knees and set up as if he was shooting a free throw. After a few mock bounces, he shot the baseball into the air towards the bucket…and made it! Pretty impressive but not everybody thought it was skill so someone shouted, “Do it again!.” Cano picked up another baseball, walked over to second base, went through his shooting routine and released the ball towards the bucket at first base…not even close! If this is any indication, Robinson is successful on 50% of his free throws, just about the same success rate as future NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal.

Made You Flinch!
One of the first drills that the club worked on when they were on field six was the pickoff and throwing drills. With coach Jose Moreno on the mound, and minor leaguers on the base paths, the infield worked on throws down to second base with the runners in motion. On one occasion, with Moreno set on the mound, manager Lloyd McClendon had some fun by yelling as loud as he could, causing Moreno to balk and getting a laugh out of those on the field and the fans behind the fence. McClendon 1, Moreno 0.

Back When I Was Your Age…
As you can see in the video below, Mariners players go through some impressive drills as part of their workouts. Outfielder Endy Chavez walked out of the clubhouse, saw this and simply said “WOAH!”…someone standing nearby chimed in with, “He’s like a young Endy Chavez!” That brought a smile to Chavez’s face.

Things to Keep in Mind
Sounds like Stephen Pryor will throw his first bullpen session of the spring tomorrow and Felix Hernandez will throw live batting practice. Boy, I wouldn’t want to be in the hitting group going up against the King. Pryor is coming off an injury that sidelined him for most of the 2013 season (tear in his right latissimus dorsi muscle) so this is a good step in his recovery.

Come to Mariners Spring Training, Good Chance You’ll Meet Mariners
If you’ve been down here to Peoria, you know that you not only get to spend time in the sun, but on some occasions, you get to meet some of the players and get an autograph or two. Many players stop on their way in from the fields to sign autographs for fans, which makes the experience of coming down here that much better.

Corey Hart takes time to sign autographs for Mariners fans.

Corey Hart takes time to sign autographs for Mariners fans.

Push, Don’t Pull…Or Is It The Other Way?
While the gates that let you get on the field here haven’t changed, a few people are still struggling to figure out whether they should push the gate in or pull it towards them. If you go the wrong direction, the fence suddenly stops and most people around you can see you screwed up. At one point, two unnamed people sitting in the dugout started placing wagers (don’t worry, no money was involved) on whether the person walking up to the gate would get it right or wrong. Among those who failed on the first try were hitting coach Howard Johnson, Seattle Times columnist Larry Stone and a few baseball information folks…it happens to the best of us I guess.

Very sunny…very, very sunny.

Tweet of the Day:

On Tap Tomorrow (Feb. 22):
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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