Mariners Spring Training Update – Day 45
Thursday, March 27, 2014 / 4 Days ‘til Opening Night (March 31 at Los Angeles Angels) / 11 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle (April 8 vs. Angels)
Big Leaguers In Minor League Action
Starter James Paxton, outfielder Corey Hart and catcher John Buck each took part in an intrasquad game this afternoon, a game between the Triple- and Double-A Mariners squads.
Paxton tossed the equivalent of six innings and finished with a pitching line of 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR. Catcher John Buck was behind the plate for all six of Paxton’s innings and finished his day by going 4-for-5 with two runs, a double, two home runs, two RBI and a walk. Corey Hart went 2-for-7 and also reached base on an error.
When you go to a low-key instrasquad game where the mood is more relaxed, you’ll see a few things you don’t normally see. In the first inning, the umpire working the game took his time calling a fly ball heading towards foul territory before yelling “FOUL!” Buck good-naturedly mocked the umpire, walking up the line, leaning, and yelling “FOUL!” As he walked back to home plate, Buck and the umpire shared a smile and a high-five.
Later in the game, Corey Hart singled to left field and was replaced by a pinch-runner, but instead of leaving the field, he took the first base coach’s helmet and took his place in foul territory. A few pitches later, Jesus Montero rifled a foul ball past Hart’s head…let’s just say that Corey didn’t stay there very long.
Earlier in the game, James Paxton was pitching to Corey Hart with John Buck behind the plate, as you’ll see in the video below, Hart didn’t realize where the pop-up went so he didn’t move and Buck had a hard time finding it until he collided with the third baseman who had made the play. The third baseman, on the ground, said, “That’s a big dude!”
Six-foot, 10-inch Right-Hander Chris Young Joins Mariners
Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik announced today the club has signed free agent right-handed pitcher Chris Young to a Major League contract.
Young will be in uniform (#53) and on the field on Friday when the Mariners host the Colorado Rockies.
To make room on the Major League 40-man roster, Bobby LaFromboise has been designated for assignment. Seattle now has 10 days to trade, release or outright LaFromboise’s contract to the minor leagues.
Young, 34, had spent this Spring Training with the Washington Nationals where he posted a 3.48 ERA (4 ER, 10.1 IP) with nine strikeouts in four games including two starts.
He spent the entire 2013 season in the Nationals minor league system, posting a record of 1-2 with a 6.81 ERA (28 ER, 37.0 IP) with 21 strikeouts in nine appearances, all starts with AAA Syracuse (7 GS), short-season Auburn (1 GS) and the Gulf Coast League Nationals (1 GS). He underwent a right shoulder thoracic outlet decompression procedure on June 11 which was performed by Dr. Robert Thompson.
The 6-foot-10 right-hander is the second-tallest player (tied) in Major League history and is the same height as Mariners great Randy Johnson.
Young is a veteran of nine Major League seasons with the Rangers (2004-2005), Padres (2006-2010) and Mets (2012) where he has combined to go 53-43 with a 3.79 ERA (375 ER, 890.2 IP) in 159 career starts and was an All-Star with San Diego in 2007. He began his professional career in 2000 in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization before being traded to the Montreal Expos before the 2003 season.
He earned a B.A. in politics from Princeton where he played baseball and two seasons of basketball and was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Year in both sports in 1999.
Minor League Game, Major League Autographs
After Paxton, Buck and Corey Hart left the minor league game, plenty of fans were able to walk right up and get a few autographed items.
What’s on Tap:
The Mariners (17-11-3) will play a home-and-away set against the Colorado Rockies on Friday and Saturday. You can hear all the action for both games on 710 ESPN Seattle with Rick Rizzs and Aaron Goldsmith calling the action. The games will also be televised by ROOT SPORTS Northwest. Left-hander Roenis Elias is scheduled to start for the Mariners on Friday against Rockies right-hander Tyler Chatwood.
Single Game Tickets on Sale:
Single-game tickets for the 2014 Seattle Mariners season are currently on sale. Highlights of the 81-game home schedule include Opening Night (Tuesday, April 8 vs. Los Angeles Angels), Beard Hat Night, Turn Back The Clock Night, Bat Night, Lou Piniella’s induction into the Mariners Hall of Fame, three postgame fireworks shows, and a host of other special events and giveaways (available at this link mariners.com/promotions). Tickets will be available without a service charge at the Safeco Field Box Office and Seattle Mariners Team Stores. They’re also available at mariners.com, Ticketmaster Ticket Centers and by phone at 1-888-SEA-HITS (service charges apply).
Instagram of the Day: