Mariners Spring Training Update – Day 19
Sunday, March 2, 2014 / 29 Days ‘til Opening Night (March 31 at Los Angeles Angels) / 37 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle (April 8 vs. Angels).
A crew filming for MLB International were guests in camp today, getting interviews of several Mariners players. The spring roster consists of players from seven foreign countries (Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Nicaragua, Cuba), so there were plenty of liners to be read in different languages.
Old Teammates, Just Having Fun:
Robinson Cano grounded out to Indians first baseman Nick Swisher to lead off the 4th inning and the two had a little fun with each other after the out was recorded, talking a little smack, followed of course by smiles. Cano and Swisher were teammates with the New York Yankees from 2009-2012.
Happy Birthday Nick:
Nick Franklin celebrated his 23rd birthday today. Happy Birthday Nick!
Only in Arizona:
About 40 minutes prior to today’s Cactus League game at the Indians, a car pulled up in front of Goodyear Ballpark and out stepped Cory Snyder. Snyder is the hitting coach for AAA Tacoma, but is a part of big league camp until the minor leaguers report next week. Snyder, in full uniform, walked through the front gate of the stadium and around the main concourse to the Mariners clubhouse is center field. Snyder, who starred for the Indians from 1986-90, said hello to a few fans during his jaunt around the field but was otherwise unmolested.
The Mariners let a 3-0 lead slip away, dropping their first Cactus League game of the spring in a 6-3 loss vs. the Cleveland Indians at Goodyear Ballpark. Dustin Ackley went 2-for-3 with a tape-measure 2-run home run off the center field batter’s eye. Starting pitcher Randy Wolf tossed 2.0 scoreless innings, his first appearance on a mound in 17 months after having his second Tommy John surgery on his left elbow. Here are some photos of the game taken by Mariners team photographer Ben Van Houten.
526 Long Days:
It had been 526 days (not that we are counting) since Randy Wolf toed the rubber in a baseball game. After undergoing his second Tommy John surgery that caused him to miss the 2013 season, Wolf made the Cactus League start today vs. the Indians. It was his first game action since Sept. 22, 2012 when he was with the Orioles against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
In the Morning:
The club went through a normal morning routine prior to taking the bus South to Goodyear. The pitcher’s had conditioning at 8 a.m. and the whole team was on the field by 9:30. Right-handed pitcher Brandon Maurer threw some live batting practice after being sidelined for a bit with a sore back.
There are interesting aspects of each Cactus League stadium, and the surrounding area. Goodyear is a relatively new stadium (debuted in 2009) and is the spring home of Ohio’s two Major League teams (Cleveland Indians & Cincinnati Reds). As you drive to the ballpark you pass by Phoenix-Goodyear Airport, which is an old Naval Air Station, and is currently a graveyard and storage area for older commercial aircraft. It is a pretty cool visual to see over several big planes right in the middle of the desert. It seemed like there were more planes this year than in the past, and in talking with some locals, it turns out there are several planes that are currently active and used for training.
Gentleman, Start Your Engines:
Less than 10 miles from Goodyear Ballpark, NASCAR held one of their Sprint Cup Series events at Phoenix International Raceway.
Yes, that is a Carnival:
Yes, that was a carnival that was just over the left field fence outside of Goodyear Ballpark. A small traveling carnival featuring several rides, including two ferris wheels, were the main attractions.
One of the great features of so many Cactus League ballparks is the seating on outfield berms. Goodyear Ballpark has seating on the berm from the left field line to right-center. With the overnight rains, the grass has been pretty wet, but the good folks in Goodyear had you covered. Whether it was planned or not, today’s game featured a fleece blanket as a giveaway when you walked in the ballpark.
There were several connections between the Mariners and Indians when the teams faced each other today. Mariners pitching coach Rick Waits played 9 seasons with the Indians (1975-83) during his 12-year Major League career. Tacoma Rainiers coach Cory Snyder was selected by the Indians in the 1st round (4th overall) of the 1984 Draft after an All-American career at BYU. Snyder played five Major League seasons with the Indians (1986-91). On the Indians side, there were also several familiar faces, including the following:
RHP David Aardsma – played with Seattle from 2009-2010 and recorded 69 saves (4th-most in club history)
LHP Nick Hagadone – played college baseball at UW, from Sumner, WA
RHP Aaron Harang – made 22 starts for the Mariners last season
SS Asdrubal Cabrera – originally signed by Seattle, in Mariners organization from 2004-06
1B Bryan LaHair – drafted by Seattle in 2002 (39th round) and made MLB debut with Mariners in 2008
OF Michael Brantley – born in Bellevue, son of former Mariner Mickey Brantley
Hitting Coach Ty Van Burkleo – hitting coach for the Mariners in 2009-2010
Special Assistant Tim Belcher – made 28 starts for the Mariners during first playoff season in 1995
Tweet of the Day:
Instagram of the Day:
On Tap Tomorrow:
The Mariners continue Cactus League play tomorrow with a pair of games in split-squad action. The Mariners host the Rockies at Peoria Stadium (710 ESPN) and travel to play the Reds at Goodyear Ballpark. Both games begin at 1:05 pm MT/12:05 pm PT. RH Erasmo Ramirez (1-0, 0.00) will start vs. Rockies LH Brett Anderson, and RH Blake Beavan (0-0, 0.00) will go against Reds RH Alfredo Simon.