Mariners Spring Training Update – Day 14

Mariners Spring Training Update

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 / 34 Days ‘til Opening Night (March 31 at Los Angeles Angeles) / 43 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle (April 8 vs. Angels).

Setting the Scene:
With the first intrasquad game today, workouts began at 9:30 am and all the players were off the field by 11:30. The other major difference was most of the workouts were on the upper fields instead of the four lower fields like they have been using. After  the outfielders and infielders worked on individual defense drills, the position players worked on running the bases.

Woodward and Cano

Robinson Cano chatting with infield coach Chris Woodward during workouts.

Walker Long Toss

RHP Taijuan Walker throwing long toss with pitching coach Rick Waits and trainer Rick Griffin watching.

Rodney signing Autographs

Fernando Rodney signing for fans after workouts.

Griffey, Dan and Snyder

Ken Griffey Jr. chatting with Dan Wilson and Cory Snyder.

Mariners defeat Mariners:

The Seattle Mariners first intrasquad game of Spring Training ended 4-3 in favor of the visiting team on field #1 in Peoria, Arizona, today.

The “home” Mariners jumped out to a quick lead on a first inning two-run home run by right fielder Stefen Romero and extended the lead to 3-0 on a second inning fielder’s choice RBI by Brad Miller. Unfortunately for the home team, that would be all the runs they would score.

Shortstop Nick Franklin got the “visiting” Mariners within a run with an opposite field two-run home run to right that scored Xavier Avery who had walked with one out. Outfield prospect Jabari Blash led off the fourth inning by getting hit by a pitch but stayed in after hitting coach Howard Johnson said, “stay in there and hit.” After working the count to 3-1, Blash hit a deep drive to left field that not only cleared the fence, it cleared (at least) the storage container that is roughly 70 feet beyond the fence, tying the game. Avery got the winning run across in the fifth inning with a sacrifice fly to left field.

Blash, along with Jesus Montero, each went 2-for-2 in the game.

Pitchers Roenis Elias, Hector Noesi, Stephen Kohlscheen and Chance Ruffin each tossed scoreless innings.

“That was pretty impressive,” Manager Lloyd McClendon said after Jabari Blash’s home run. “I thought it was going to hit my car. That’s why I jumped up. I thought, `Holy (smokes), that’s my car out there. Actually, it went over the car.”

Play at the Plate

Ty Kelly getting tagged out at the plate by Manuel Pina during intrasquad game.

Blash HR

Jabari Blash hitting a home run off Logan Bawcom during an intrasquad game.

 Vote #FelixHernandez for #FaceofMLB:

Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez is currently taking on David Wright of the New York Mets in the semi-finals of the MLB Network’s “Face of MLB” competition. The match started at 6 AM (PT) this morning and will conclude at 5 AM (PT) on Wednesday, February 25. Fans can vote for Felix (@RealKingFelix) on Twitter by tweeting #FelixHernandez #FaceofMLB.

Results will be announced on Wednesday morning on MLB Network’s offseason morning show Hot Stove at 6:00 AM (PT). The show replays at 8 AM (PT). In his first round match, Hernandez knocked off National League MVP Andrew McCutchen. In round two, King Felix coasted by Philadelphia’s Chase Utley. The third round saw Hernandez take down last year’s Face of MLB champion Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds. A record 107,000 votes were cast in the Hernandez vs. Votto match-up, with Felix prevailing by a razor-thin 50.2% to 49.8%. Teammates and fans rallied to support Felix and move him to the semi-finals. For the second straight year, The MLB Network has set out to find the Face of MLB by creating a bracket-style tournament with the results determined by fans on twitter. The competition began on December 16, featuring players from all 30 clubs.

Felix Talking to Fans

Felix Hernandez calling fans to thank them for the support during #FaceofMLB competition today.

John Stearns Medical Update:

Sending well wishes and positive thought to Mariners third base coach John Stearns today. After arriving in Arizona for Spring Training, Stearns suffered discomfort in his upper abdomen. A follow-up exam resulted in the diagnoses of a hiatal hernia. Stearns underwent surgery Monday at Arrowhead Hospital. The laparoscopic surgical repair was performed by Dr. Jamison Foster. Stearns will not be allowed to resume baseball activities for four to six weeks. The club is discussing internal options at the third base coaching spot that have yet to be determined.

Updated Player Signings:

The Mariners today issued the following signings update for players that have agreed to contracts for the 2014 season: Blake Beavan (RHP), Danny Farquhar (RHP), Yoervis Medina (RHP), Tom Wilhelmsen (RHP), Ji-Man Choi (INF), Abraham Almonte (OF), Xavier Avery (OF), James Jones (OF). These 8 signings bring the total of signed players on the Mariners Major League 40-man roster to 29. The final 11 Mariners will be signed or renewed by March 11.

Mariners Media Guides Arrive:

The Mariners Baseball Information staff always gets excited when the first shipments of media guides arrive in Peoria. The 2014 Seattle Mariners Information Guide is a great resource for information on players (Major League & Minor League), as well as historical information about the franchise. You can pick up a hard copy of the publication for $10 at any of the Seattle Mariners Team Stores, including the souvenir shop at Peoria Stadium.

Media Guide

2014 Seattle Mariners Information Guide.

Cactus League Report:

Be sure to tune into the Mariners Cactus League Report tonight from 6-8 p.m. PT (7-9 pm MT) on 710 ESPN Seattle or Mariners.com. Or, if you are in Arizona for Spring Training, come out and watch the show live and meet some of the players from 7-9 p.m. at the Salty Senorita near the Mariners Spring Training Complex in Peoria. A star-studded lineup is schedule for the 2-hour show hosted by Rick Rizzs, Aaron Goldsmith and Shannon Drayer, including: Jack Zduriencik, Brad Miller, Kyle Seager, Stephen Pryor, Erasmo Ramirez, and Seattle Times Columnist Larry Stone.

Welcome to Peoria:

Mariners radio broadcasters Rick Rizzs and Aaron Goldsmith made the trek down from Seattle yesterday and arrived at the Peoria Sports Complex early this morning to get accumulated to the new surroundings. Rizzs is in his 29th season as the primary voice on radio, while Goldsmith enters year two. Executive Producer/Engineer Kevin Cremin also arrived with Rick and Aaron and spent most of the day setting up the radio booth in preparation for Thursday’s game vs. the Padres at Peoria Stadium. He also was busy getting everything ready for the Cactus League Report tonight at Salty Senorita.

Rick and Aaron

Mariners radio broadcasters Rick Rizzs and Aaron Goldsmith.

Count down to games:

The Mariners begin their 38th spring training with the Cactus League opener Thursday against the San Diego Padres at Peoria Stadium. Thursday’s lid-lifter opens the 33-game Cactus League schedule for the Mariners that will conclude March 28-29 with a pair of exhibition games vs. the Rockies in Arizona. RH Erasmo Ramirez will start on the mound for the Mariners against Padres LH Eric Stults.

 PROBABLE PITCHERS (subject to change)…

THURSDAY:     Mariners vs. Padres       1:05 pm MT       710 ESPN Seattle

SEA     —         E. Ramirez, Beavan, Kensing, Luetge*, Wilhelmsen, Beimel*, Farquhar

SD       —         Stults*, Quackenbush, Roach, Boyer, Schuster, Sipp*, Carter

 FRIDAY:           Mariners at Padres        1:05 pm MT       710 ESPN Seattle

SEA     —         Paxton*, Palmer, Hill*, Miner, Smith, Furbush*, Leone

SD       —         Cashner

 SATURDAY:     Mariners vs. Angels       1:05 pm MT       710 ESPN Seattle

SEA     —         Baker, LaFromboise*, Rogers, Medina, Kohlscheen, R. Ramirez, Arias, Bawcom

LAA      —         TBA

* left-handed pitcher

 Welcome to the Peoria Stadium:

The City of Peoria is putting the finishing touches on Peoria Stadium in anticipation for Thursday’s Cactus League Opener between the Mariners and Padres. The Peoria Sports Complex was the first Major League Baseball Spring Training and player development facility in the country shared by two teams. Built in 1994, the complex has served as a model for other facilities of its kind. Through 20 year leases, the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners utilize Peoria Sports Complex year round. In addition to Major League Spring Training, the complex is used for each team’s player development systems. In the off-season, the complex is the site for player rehabilitation, Extended Spring Training, Arizona Summer League, and Arizona Instructional League baseball. The complex is also home to an Arizona Fall League team, the Peoria Javelinas.

Peoria sign

Prep work at the Peoria Stadium.

Weather:
Cloudy and mid-70s all afternoon today in Peoria, but don’t worry temperatures are supposed to climb to near 80 the rest of the work week.

Quote of the Day:

“We need more Lady Gaga,” said Mariners radio announcer Rick Rizzs.

 Rick enjoyed the addition of the music being played during the morning workouts and he was especially fond of the song “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga. You could tell Rizzs wasn’t joking when he referred to Lady Gaga by her given name, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, and asked for “The Edge of Glory” and “Poker Face” to be added to the workout playlist. He might be a big Lady Gaga fan, but nothing like his radio partner Aaron Goldsmith, who is a huge fan of Katy Perry. I have a feeling we may hear a Katy Perry song in the next couple of days.

Tweets of the Day:

On Tap Tomorrow (Feb. 26):
Workouts continue tomorrow at 9:30 am. It is the last official day of full squad workouts until games begin on Thursday.

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