Felix and Young Win Players Choice Awards

Players Choice

Seattle Mariners pitchers Felix Hernandez (American League Most Outstanding Pitcher) and Chris Young (American League Comeback Player of the Year) were recognized by their fellow players in the annual Major League Baseball Players Choice Awards.

Hernandez, 28, was named the American League Outstanding Pitcher by his peers to earn his first Players Choice Award. He led the AL with a 2.14 ERA and a 0.915 WHIP while yielding a league-low 6.5 hits per nine innings over 34 starts for the Mariners. Felix went 15-6 with 248 strikeouts in his 10th season in the Majors.

Young, 35, returned to the Majors for the first time since 2012 to go 12-9 with a 3.65 ERA (67 ER, 165.0 IP) in 30 games/29 starts with the Mariners. The 6-10 right-hander did not pitch in the Majors in 2013 after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder. From 2009-2012, Young made just 42 Major League starts battling various shoulder injuries.

This is the first Players Choice Award for a Mariners player since Ichiro was selected as the AL Outstanding Player in 2004.

The Players Choice Awards, presented by PlayStation, benefit the Major League Baseball Players Trust, the charitable foundation created and run by the players themselves. Players Choice Awards have been presented each year since 1992.

2014 Players Choice Award Winners:

American League:
Outstanding Player: Mike Trout (LA Angels)
Outstanding Pitcher: Felix Hernandez (Seattle)
Outstanding Rookie: Jose Abreu (Chicago White Sox)
Comeback Player: Chris Young (Seattle)

National League:
Outstanding Player: Giancarlo Stanton (Miami)
Outstanding Pitcher: Clayton Kershaw (LA Dodgers)
Outstanding Rookie: Jacob deGrom (NY Mets)
Comeback Player: Casey McGehee (Miami)

Player of Year: Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles)
Man of the Year: Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles)

Mariners Claim Carlos Rivero from Red Sox

The Mariners claimed infielder/outfielder Carlos Rivero off waivers from the Boston Red Sox today.

He made his Major League debut last season, going 4-for-7 with a run scored, 2 doubles, 1 home run and 3 RBI in four games with Boston after spending nine seasons in the minors with the Indians, Phillies, Nationals and Red Sox organizations.

During his minor league career, he has played games at shortstop (537), third base (381), left field (28), first base (26), designated hitter (20) and right field (1). Last season he appeared in games at third base (50), left field (23) and DH (20).

The 26-year-old is currently playing with Cardenales de Lara in the Venezuelan Winter League where he is hitting .313 (20×64) with 11 runs, 2 doubles, 6 home runs and 11 RBI in 17 games.

Here are a few highlight videos from his first taste of Major League Baseball.

Carlos Rivero’s First Major League Hit:

Carlos Rivero’s First Major League Home Run:

2015 Spring Training Schedule

1024x512_SpringTrainingSchedule

Mariners Pitchers and Catchers officially report to Arizona for Spring Training in 109 days on February 20, and today we are able to share with you the official Spring Training Schedule!

The Mariners will host the Padres in the annual charity game on Wednesday, March 4 at 1:05 pm MT/12:05 pm PT at Peoria Stadium.

The opening game of the spring season, which benefits several local Peoria, AZ, charities, is the first of 32 total games and 16 “home” games for the Mariners. The Mariners and Padres have shared the Peoria Sports Complex for spring training since 1994, and they will face each other four times next spring.

The Mariners will host both World Series participants in Peoria; first the American League Champion Kansas City Royals will visit on Thursday, March 26, followed two days later (March 28) by the World Champion San Francisco Giants.

Three night games are included in the home schedule: Thursday, March 19 vs. the Cleveland Indians, Wednesday, March 25 vs. the Chicago Cubs, and Friday, April 3 vs. the Colorado Rockies. Night game times begin at 7:05 pm.

To close out the 2015 training camp, the Mariners will play a pair of games against the Rockies: Friday, April 3, at Peoria (7:05pm) and Saturday, April 4, at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale. (12:10pm).

The Mariners then travel to Seattle to prepare for the regular season Opening Day at Safeco Field on Monday, April 6, against the Los Angeles Angels (1:10 pm).

The complete Mariners spring schedule is now available on Mariners.com.

Tickets for all Mariners spring training games in Peoria will go on sale January 10, 2015.

Video – Mariners Prospect DJ Peterson

MLB.com reporter Jonathan Mayo caught up with Mariners top prospect DJ Peterson prior to the Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game. Peterson is playing for the Surprise Saguaros in the Fall League.

D.J. Peterson in Arizona Fall League’s Fall Stars Game

Fall Stars Game

It isn’t every day that we get to see baseball’s top prospects on display on one field from the comfort of our homes, but today, fans will get just that.

The annual Arizona Fall League Stars Game will be played Saturday (Nov. 1) at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Arizona at 5 pm PT. Mariners infielder D.J. Peterson will be the Mariners representative in the game. The game will be nationally televised by MLB Network and online via MLB.com with Paul Severino (play-by-play), Joe Magrane (game analyst) and John Manuel (game analyst) calling the action. The MLB Radio Network also will carry the game on Sirius/XM satellite radio.

Another Mariners connection in the game will be Kyle Seager’s younger brother, Dodgers prospect Corey Seager, who is on the AFL West roster along with Peterson.

Here’s a list of Mariners who have participated in the Arizona Fall League Stars Game:

2014 – INF D.J. Peterson

2013 – OF Stefen Romero

2012 – LHP James Paxton, C Mike Zunino, INF Nick Franklin

2011 – LHP Danny Hultzen, INF Nick Franklin

2010 – OF Dustin Ackley, RHP Josh Fields

2009 – OF Dustin Ackley, RHP Phillippe Aumont, Josh Fields, INF Carlos Triunfel

2008 – OF Greg Halman, INF Carlos Triunfel

2007 – C Jeff Clement, RHP Joe Woerman

2006 – INF Michael Garciaparra, RHP Stephen Kahn

Iwakuma to Play in MLB-Japan All-Star Series

Hisashi Iwakuma has been added to the roster for the MLB Japan All-Star Series.

Hisashi Iwakuma has been added to the roster for the MLB Japan All-Star Series.

Mariners right-handed starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma has been selected to play in the MLB-Japan All-Star Series in November. Iwakuma and select MLB stars will play a five-game series against “Samurai Japan” (Japan’s National Team) in the 2014 All-Star Series. In addition, two exhibition games will be played prior to and after the All-Star Series of games.

Iwakuma, 33, will join teammate Robinson Cano in the renewal of the event for the first time since 2006, which will mark the 11th All-Star Series and the 36th time overall that a team of Major Leaguers has toured Japan for exhibition games, dating back to 1908. Iwakuma is scheduled to make one start for the MLB squad during the series, with a limit of 80 pitches has been set for each starting pitcher (Rules for Series).

“I am very happy and honored to be part of this All-Star team,” said Iwakuma. “I look forward to pitching in my hometown during the series.”

Iwakuma went 15-9 with a 3.52 ERA (70 ER, 170.0 IP) in 28 starts with the Mariners in 2014. He ranked 2nd in the Majors with a 1.06 walk rate (21 BB) and 3rd with a 7.33 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and also had the 4th-best WHIP in the American League at 1.050. The Tokyo native became the fifth Japanese-born pitcher with 15 wins in a season, joining Hideo Nomo (3x), Daisuke Matsuzaka (2x), Yu Darvish, Hiroki Kuroda.

In three seasons with the Mariners Iwakuma has combined to go 38-20 with a 3.07 ERA, including 37-19, 2.97 in 77 career starts. Prior to joining the Mariners Iwakuma played 11 seasons in Japan with Kintetsu/Rakuten in the Pacific League, combining to go 107-69 with a 3.25 ERA in 226 G/225 GS. He was named the Pacific League MVP and Eiji Sawamura Award winner (Cy Young equivalent) in 2008 after going 21-4 with a 1.87 ERA. He has represented Japan in the World Baseball Classic (2009) and Olympics (2004).

The team will holds workouts at Dodger Stadium on November 6-7 (12-2:30 pm). The MLB Network will exclusively televise every game of the Japan All-Star Series live in the U.S., beginning with the exhibition game on Tuesday, November 11 at 1 am PT (check local listings for replays).

All-Star Series games will be hosted in Osaka (Kyocera Dome), Tokyo (Tokyo Dome), Sapporo (Sapporo Dome) and Okinawa (Okinawa Cellular Stadium). The complete schedule is as follows:

2014 Suzuki All-Star Series Schedule
Tuesday, Nov. 11: Exhibition vs. Hanshin Tigers/Yomiuri Giants at Koshien
Wednesday, Nov. 12: Game #1 at Kyocera Dome, Osaka
Thursday, Nov. 13: Travel Day
Friday, Nov. 14: Game #2 at Tokyo Dome, Tokyo
Saturday, Nov. 15: Game #3 at Tokyo Dome, Tokyo
Sunday, Nov. 16: Game #4 at Tokyo Dome, Tokyo
Monday, Nov. 17: Travel Day
Tuesday, Nov. 18: Game #5 at Sapporo Dome, Sapporo
Wednesday, Nov. 19: Travel Day
Thursday, Nov. 20: Exhibition vs Team Japan, Okinawa

Japan Series

2014 Rewind – The Mighty, Mighty Bullpen

The Great 8 of the Mariners Bullpen (left-right): Dominic Leone, Yoervis Medina, Joe Beimel, Charlie Furbush, Fernando Rodney, Tom Wilhelmsen, Brandon Maurer, Danny Farquhar.

The Great 8 of the Mariners Bullpen (left-right): Dominic Leone, Yoervis Medina, Joe Beimel, Charlie Furbush, Fernando Rodney, Tom Wilhelmsen, Brandon Maurer, Danny Farquhar.

There were plenty of highlights from the 2014 season, and you can read all about them in the Season in Review. One of the more amazing storylines of the season was the dominating performance from the bullpen. Consider the following for just one second:

  • MLB Leaders – The bullpen lead the Majors with a 2.59 ERA (144 ER, 500.0 IP), well ahead of the 2nd-best mark of 2.73 by San Diego and the next best AL team Oakland at 2.91.
  • High Marks – The 2.59 ERA marked the 6th-lowest by an American League bullpen during the designated hitter era (since 1973), and the 2nd-lowest mark dating back to 1990 (2.55 ERA by KC in 2013).
  • Lots of Appearances – Set an American League record with 7 different pitchers making at least 50 relief appearances, tying the MLB record set by the 2002 Atlanta Braves.
  • Low Average – Led the American League and ranked 2nd in MLB with .219 opponent batting average.
  • Saves Leader - Fernando Rodney led the Majors and set a club record with 48 saves.
Mighty Bullpen

The Mariners bullpen led the Majors with a 2.59 ERA in 2014.

All those statistics are pretty amazing by as a standalone, but when you look at the improvement from 2013 to 2014, you really start to see how important the bullpen was to the Mariners success and 87-75 record. In 2013, the Mariners ranked 29th in the Majors with a 4.58 ERA. With help from the Elias Sports Bureau we’ve found that the 1.99 ERA improvement from 2013 to 2014 is the 4th-best over the last 20 seasons (1995-2014):

   Improvement  Year   ERA  Year  ERA    Team
   2.61         2008   3.55 2007  6.16   Tampa Bay Rays 
   2.10         2005   2.80 2004  4.90   Cleveland Indians 
   2.03         2011   3.71 2010  5.74   Arizona Diamondbacks
   1.99         2014   2.59 2013  4.58   Seattle Mariners
   1.89         1995   2.71 1994  4.60   St. Louis Cardinals

You can read all about the bullpen and their different personalities in this piece by beat writer Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. And the following illustrations that ran in the Times are pretty awesome as well.

Bulpen_02

Illustration courtesy of Seattle Times.

 

Bullpen_01

Illustration courtesy of Seattle Times.

Mariners Spring Training Report Dates

2015SpringTrainingDates

The countdown begins!

Officially it is 113 days until Mariners Pitchers & Catchers report to the Spring Training Complex in Peoria, Arizona.

The official spring training schedule will be released early next week.

MLB Awards Season

First off, congratulations to the San Francisco Giants on winning the World Series in what was a great 7-game series vs. the Kansas City Royals.

While baseball may not return until Pitchers and Catchers report to Arizona and Florida for Spring Training starting in February, there will be plenty of baseball news over the next few weeks.

Here is a listing of some of the many baseball awards that will be announced and how you can follow. Hopefully there will be a few Mariners who take home some hardware!

Monday, Nov. 3 MLBPA Players Choice Awards MLB Network
Tuesday, Nov. 4 BBWAA Award Finalists MLB Network
Rawlings® Gold Glove Awards ESPN2 (4 pm PT)
Wednesday, Nov. 5 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Awards MLB Network
Thursday, Nov. 6 Silver Slugger Awards presented by Louisville Slugger MLB Network
Monday, Nov. 10 AL & NL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year MLB Network
Tuesday, Nov. 11 AL & NL Manager of the Year MLB Network
Wednesday, Nov. 12 AL & NL Cy Young Award MLB Network
Thursday, Nov. 13 AL & NL Most Valuable Player MLB Network

 

Kyle Seager – On the Rise

 

Seager - on the rise

Kyle Seager has quickly made a name for himself after only three full Major League seasons. Here is a look at Kyle’s career stats, be sure to pay attention to the steady rise of his home run and RBI totals over the last few seasons:

Seager_Stats

In 2014, Seager was a first-time All-Star while leading the team in home runs (25), RBI (96) and extra-base hits (56). He became the first Mariners player since Raul Ibañez (2005-2008) to record 20+ HR in at least 3 consecutive seasons and joins Ken Griffey Jr. and Jim Presley as the only Mariners players with 20+ HR in 3 of first 4 MLB seasons (20 in ‘12, 22 in ‘13). Additionally, he became the first Mariners player with a 25 HR, 95 RBI season since Jose Lopez in 2009.

In addition to his solid performance at the plate, Seager has turned into one of the best third basemen in MLB. Kyle led all players at the hot corner with a .981 fielding percentage, the best single-season fielding percentage by a third baseman in club history (Jeff Cirillo, .973 in 2002), and the 10th-best in American League history since 1948. He was rewarded by being named one of three Rawlings® Gold Glove American League Finalists (winner to be announced Nov. 4 on ESPN2).

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