One of the great things we are able to provide during spring training are video highlights that we deliver to Seattle and national TV stations through an FTP process. We are lucky to have six TV games (starting with March 4 game vs. Colorado), but sometimes it is tough to get a visual of what is going on down in Arizona.
A lot of people are talking about Justin Smoak’s hot start this spring (.556/5-for-9, 2 HR, 4 RBI). He hit a mammoth, game-winning 2-run home run yesterday in the 8th inning vs. the Milwaukee Brewers. Here is video (and audio) of the tape-measure home run:
Mariners outfielder Michael Saunders may have a career after his current career, as a broadcaster. This morning he interviewed Mariners radio announcer Rick Rizzs about the upcoming 2013 season. As you can see, Michael has quite the personality and is a joy to be around (and to watch on the field)!
Here is a fun time-lapse video of the Mariners annual photo taken by Ben Mertens in the Mariners Marketing & Gameday Productions Department.
This pretty much sums up how we feel about King Felix!
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 / 9 Days ‘til Cactus League Opener (Feb. 22 vs. San Diego) / 47 Days ‘til Opening Night (April 1 at Oakland) / 54 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle (April 8 vs. Houston)
Busy Day in Seattle with King Felix:
It was a special day back in Seattle as Felix Hernandez officially signed his seven-year contract extension making him a Mariner through the 2019 season. Those that get to be around Felix as much as we do not only know how great of a pitcher he is, but how equally great of a person he is. He treats us all the same, from the clubhouse staff to the PR staff, to his teammates, and we couldn’t be more proud to keep him in the family for at least seven more seasons. We included several photos from his news conference in Seattle, including the below photo when he was greeted by members of our front office after coming off the elevators. And here is the official news release that went out to the media this afternoon.
And you can view highlights from the news conference that took place at Safeco Field today in the below video (about as awesome as it gets in my mind):
Getting on the Field:
It was the day that we wait for all winter, when Pitchers and Catchers (along with several position players) took to the back field at the Peoria Sports Complex for the first official day of Spring Training. Pitchers ran through PFP drills (Pitchers Fielding their Position), catchers caught bullpens and coaches roamed all the fields. A total of 16 pitchers threw their first bullpens of the spring, including newcomers Jon Garland and Kameron Loe, and Washington native Jeremy Bonderman.
After a 20-minute meeting in the clubhouse, the players hit the fields around 9:30 am and were kept busy until almost noon. This will be the normal routine for the next week until the first Cactus League game is played on Feb. 22 vs. the Padres.
Manager Eric Wedge talked about the first day of workouts and the signing of Felix Hernandez:
And catcher Kelly Shoppach talked about his first day as a Mariner:
Well, the time has come where you may not want to read the weather section of this blog. Because today was “Bottle-it-up” perfect in my mind. Blue skies, sunny, and just a little crisp in the morning. Temperatures were in the mid 60’s for most of the day. We keep hearing that 70-degrees should be waiting for us this weekend!
Another Roster Move:
The Mariners acquired minor league outfielder Abraham Almonte from the New York Yankees today in exchange for right-handed relief pitcher Shawn Kelley. Kelley was designated for assignment when Kelly Shoppach was signed as a free agent.
Almonte, 23, spent last season primarily with Double-A Trenton in the Yankees organization. He hit .276 (88×319) with 47 runs scored, 17 doubles, 4 triples, 4 home runs, 25 RBI and 30 stolen bases in 78 games. The 5-9, 205-pound switch hitter was named an Eastern League midseason All-Star and ranked 5th in the EL in stolen bases (30-for-350. He also appeared in 7 games with the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Yankees.
Tweet of the Day:
Quote of the Day:
“The quality and talent level of our pitching staff, from top to bottom, is solid. I can’t really put words to how far that has come. The depth of this group will create a lot of competition, especially for the No. 4 and No. 5 spots in the rotation. It is our job as coaches to evaluate and make the best decisions. But I am really excited to see these guys take the mound.”
– Pitching Coach Carl Willis
North Carolina vs. Duke:
Besides being the busy day with the first day of on-field workouts, it was a stressful day for Pitching Coach Carl Willis. Willis is probably one of the bigger University of North Carolina basketball fans that I’ve ever met, and I witnessed him personally act like a little kid when he met Tar Heel legend George Karl. At time of this blog posting the Tar Heels trailed Duke by 5 points, so hoping this turns around. Somewhere Kevin Millwood (huge Duke fan) is probably texting Carl to torment him.
Happy Birthday Julio:
Outfielder Julio Morban turned 21 today and was all smiles when manager Eric Wedge found him in the clubhouse to wish him a Happy Birthday.
On Tap Tomorrow (Feb. 14):
Tomorrow will be a pretty similar day in terms of timing, with the team taking the field at 9:30 am for stretch (on Field #3). A total of 15 pitchers are scheduled to have bullpen sessions, and this group will be fun to watch: Charlie Furbush, Josh Kinney, Erasmo Ramirez, Joe Saunders and Tom Wilhelmsen. Top prospects Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen, Brandon Maurer and James Paxton are also scheduled to get some extended mound time in.
Felix Hernandez won his 9th consecutive decision last night, throwing a 5-hit shutout in the Mariners 1-0 win over the Twins at Target Field.
Here are some notable facts about the latest of King Felix gems thrown this season:
- Felix recorded his third 1-0 shutout victory in the month of August. Only two other pitchers in Major League history recorded have three 1-0 shutout wins in a calendar month: Carl Hubbell for the Giants in July 1933 and the Braves’ Dick Rudolph in August 1916.
- Is just the third pitcher during the divisional era (since 1969) to have four wins with the score 1-0 in a single season (all CG shutouts), joining Hall of Famers Fergie Jenkins (1974) and Bert Blyleven (1976)…Don Drysdale and Bob Gibson also recorded four 1-0 shutouts in 1968.
- Felix joined Mark Langston (September 1988) as the only pitchers in Mariners history with 3 shutouts in a month.
- The shutout was his fifth this season (6/28 vs. BOS, 7/14 vs. TEX, 8/4 at NYY, 8/15 vs. TB, 8/27 at MIN), setting a Mariners club record for a single season…Dave Fleming (1992) and Randy Johnson (1994) held the previous record with 4 shutouts in a season.
- Felix’s 5 shutouts are tied for the most in a season by an American League pitcher since 1989 (Bert Blyleven in 1989, Roger Clemens in 1992, David Wells in 1998).
- All five of Felix’s shutouts were in a 12-start span beginning June 28…he is the first pitcher since Randy Johnson in 1998 to record 5+ shutouts in 12-start span.
And here is a look at Felix’s statistics for the season and his some incredible numbers about his recent string of starts:
- Has 16 starts where he has pitched 7.0 or more innings with 1 or fewer runs setting a club record (he had 15 in 2010 Cy Young season).
- Has a current 9-game winning streak to tie his career-high…since June 17 he is 9-0 with a 1.40 ERA (17 ER, 109.0 IP), 100 strikeouts and a .183 opponents batting average…last loss was June 12 vs. the Padres.
- In 5 starts in August went 4-0 with a 1.08 ERA (5 ER, 41.2 IP), including the 23rd perfect game in MLB history Aug. 15 vs. the Rays.
- Heading into Tuesday’s games, leads the Majors in ERA (2.43), innings pitched (196.7) and 3rd in strikeouts (184).
And here is the highlight reel from Felix’s shutout vs. the Twins last night:
Newly acquired outfielder Eric Thames made his Mariners debut last night vs. his former team (Toronto Blue Jays), and hit a towering 416-foot 2-run home run in the 5th inning to tie the game 3-3. The Mariners went on to beat the Blue Jays 5-3 to extend their season-high winning streak to 7 consecutive games and finished the 10-game homestand with a 8-2 record.
Thames became the 24th player in club history to homer in their Mariners debut.
|Juan Bernhardt||April 10, 1977||California|
|Skip Jutze||April 12, 1977||Minnesota|
|Leon Roberts||April 9, 1978||Minnesota|
|Willie Horton||April 4, 1979||California|
|Jeff Burroughs||April 9, 1981||California|
|Al Cowens||April 6, 1982||Minnesota|
|Bobby Brown||May 8, 1982||New York (AL)|
|Jamie Nelson*||July 21, 1983||Boston|
|Alvin Davis*||April 11, 1984||Boston|
|Gary Matthews Sr.||July 12, 1987||Boston|
|Eric Anthony||April 4, 1994||Cleveland|
|Alex Diaz||April 29, 1995||Detroit|
|Mark Whiten||Aug. 16, 1996||New York (AL)|
|Rico Rossy||June 21, 1998||Oakland|
|Matt Mieske||April 7, 1999||Chicago (AL)|
|Domingo Cedeno||April 12, 1999||Oakland|
|Greg Dobbs*||Sept. 8, 2004||Cleveland|
|Richie Sexson||April 4, 2005||Minnesota|
|Roberto Petagine||April 3, 2006||Los Angeles (AL)|
|Kenji Johjima*||April 3, 2006||Los Angeles (AL)|
|Ben Broussard||July 29, 2006||Cleveland|
|Franklin Gutierrez||April 6, 2009||Minnesota|
|Eliezer Alfonzo||May 30, 2010||Los Angeles (AL)|
|Eric Thames||Aug. 1, 2012||Toronto|
* MLB Debut
Felix Hernandez showed why once again last night he has earned the name King Felix tossing a 3-hit shutout vs. the Texas Rangers.
Here are some of the many facts to come out of his dominating performance last night:
- His shutout meeting the criteria of 12+ strikeouts, zero walks and 3 or fewer hits allowed was only the 36th in Major League history dating back to 1900 (first Mariner)…according to the Elias Sports Bureau, that makes it more than 6-times as rare as a no-hitter (220 individual no-hitters since 1900)…Felix became just the 5th pitcher over the last 10 seasons to throw a shutout of this nature, joining Matt Cain (6/13/12), Chris Capuano (8/26/11), Erik Bedard (7/7/07) and Randy Johnson (5/18/04).
- Became just the 10th pitcher (11x) in club history to throw a shutout vs. the Rangers, and first since Joel Pineiro in 2003
- Tossed his 20th career complete game, and 6th shutout.
- Needed only 107 pitches to complete the shutout, the 4th-fewest pitches among his 15 9.0 innings complete games…did not reach a 3-ball count the entire game.
- He now leads the Majors with 140 strikeouts…in the AL, is also 6th in ERA (2.92), T5th in quality starts (12) & T1st in IP (132.2)
- Is 3-0, 1.40 ERA (7 ER, 45.0 IP) with 56 strikeouts (11.2 K/9.0 IP) in last 6 GS.
- Recorded 20th career CG last night…first pitcher since Mark Mulder (2000-04) to record 20+ CG by age 26.
- Has 7 starts of at least 8.0 IP while allowing 1 or fewer runs this season (most in the Majors).
- Was Felix’s second shutout this season with 12 or more strikeouts. He struck out 13 Red Sox in a shutout on June 28. He becomes the first pitcher to have multiple shutouts with 12 or more strikeouts in a single season since Randy Johnson did it twice for Arizona in 2002. He is only the second Mariner to achieve the feat, joining Johnson, who did it twice in 1995. Some other interesting data about his pitches was outlined by ESPN Stats & Information.