The Twitter feed was nothing less than entertaining the last 24 hours. The Mariners have officially released starting pitchers Randy Wolf and Scott Baker. In what appeared to be a solid five man rotation heading into the regular season, it now looks as if the Mariners pitching staff is busted right before they’re ready to break camp.
Iwakuma is still questionable and it’s looking like Blake Beavan might find himself closer to a starting role after Wolf was cut. So what does that mean for the 25-man roster and the future of the Mariners this season? Who will nail down the other rotation spots?
“I think it’s just a matter of logistics at this point,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “We’ll get a couple of things ironed out. But for the most part, I think we’re dwindling down.” said McClendon in a recent interview.
Iwakuma threw a baseball Monday for the first time in camp, while Walker is slotted to work three innings Tuesday in a minor league game. Barring setbacks, both could be ready by mid-to-late April.
“It will all become clear,” McClendon said, “in the next day or two.”
Huh. Well, I sure hope so, Skipper.
The Mariners looked solid going into Spring Training with the offensive bats really stepping up. Now the team is facing it’s usual pitching woes.
For many years it seemed like the Mariners always hosted the Athletics or vise versa for the home opener. This year the Mariners will be traveling to Anaheim on March 31st to play the Angels and then the Angels are coming to Safeco Field on April 8th for the Mariners home opener. It changes things up a little bit and I certainly think it breaks up the monotony of baseball schedules. But really, does it matter? There are only five teams in the American League West (used to be four) and that hasn’t changed for some time. I think in retrospect, it’s nice to see these small but subtle changes.
The Athletics aren’t far behind, though. The team comes to Safeco Field that opening night weekend for a three game series.
In other Mariners news, Dustin Ackley has a full beard going on right now. It’s quite the beard, I must say. Along with growing an epic beard, he’s not doing too bad in Spring Training right now. Of course, batting .457 won’t follow him into the regular season, it’s still nice to see Ackley hitting like he was projected to do in 2009.
“People don’t put a lot into the stats in Spring Training. But I put a lot into how I’ve felt and the confidence you build in the spring,” Ackley said Sunday morning. “I think that’s huge. You can’t really put into words what that does for you. I think taking everything I’ve done and just being consistent with that is going to be the biggest thing.”
The never-ending debate whether Spring Training “counts” or not has never really dissolved. Baseball fans continue to have their opinions about Spring Training-stats do not count but the work and the team cohesion do count. Obviously Ackley isn’t going to hit .457 throughout the regular season. We all know that. He has come a long way since the last couple of seasons with the Mariners, though. I think McClendon has played a huge part in that.
“I hear scouts all the time say, ‘Don’t get caught up in Spring Training.’ Well, we have to get caught up in something,” McClendon said. “You have to believe in something. We try to temper it.
“What I try to do is put guys in the most pressure situations I could this spring, to see what we really have. But the fact is, when the lights come on, you don’t really know how anyone is going to react, other than guys who have track records.”
Ackley says he feels confident and mentally ready. But what if he has a slow start? How will the fans react to that? How will Ackley handle it?
“I want my confidence to be there even when I’m not doing well. I think those are the most important times, when you are struggling and kind of doubting yourself. That’s when you need to step back and tell yourself this isn’t what I’m going to do; I’m not going to go down this path again, because I’ve already been down it before and it didn’t work.”
The Mariners start the regular season in less than one week and I think we are all ready for some Mariners baseball.
Who’s going?! I’m excited to go! The gates open at 5:30PM and the tickets are just one dollar! First pitch is around 7:05Pm, I think and we get to watch the game on the giant big screen that they put up in centerfield last season. How cool is that?!!
I’ll be leaving Australia soon. I’ve spent the last week or so overseas watching the series opener at the historic Sydney Cricket Grounds and you can read all about that by clicking this link. It’s been an absolutely amazing trip, too. I’ve walked all around Sydney, seen the Taronga Zoo, ran into Dodgers pitcher Brian Wilson…it’s been a real treat.
I also started a new Facebook page designed specifically for this blog. So have a look and “like” it if you like it!
I hope to get a few blogs out this week about the Mariners, so we will see what happens!
Thanks for reading!
“Valle played in 13 big league seasons – 10 with the Mariners. He interviewed for the Mariners managerial open in the offseason. While it was a longshot for him to get the job, Valle impressed enough people that they decided to offer him a chance to build up his managing resume in the minor leagues.”- Seattle Times (Ryan Divish)
I’m super-stoked about that, sports fans! Since I live so close to Everett, I think it’ll be my obligation to attend as many Aquasox games as I possibly can this year (along with Mariners games). How exciting! This year in Seattle sports has really been turning out to be a gold mine! With all the solid acquisitions that the Mariners have made over the off-season and the Seahawks winning the Super Bowl, I think the Mariners can turn that momentum they have building into something really special.
Welcome, 2014! You’ve been great so far!
|Scott Baker||P||32||Minor League***|
|Joe Beimel||P||36||Minor League**|
|Endy Chavez||OF||36||Minor League**|
|Cole Gillespie||OF||29||Minor League**|
|Logan Kensing||P||31||Minor League**|
|Matt Palmer||P||34||Minor League**|
|Humberto Quintero||C||34||Minor League**|
|Ramon Ramirez||P||32||Minor League**|
|Mark Rogers||P||28||Minor League**|
*: performance bonuses included in contract
**: player was invited to spring training
***: player was invited to spring training AND has performance bonuses included in contract
That’s the break down of what has happened with the Seattle Mariners over the course of the off-season. Excited much?
Twitter is buzzing with Robinson Cano rumors. I’ve read 9 years at $240 mil and I’ve read 10 years at $225 mil. And, of course, everything in between. Many people might think Seattle is overpaying Cano but I look at this as a positive sign that the Mariners are finally doing something. Cano might hit a huge pay day and it might be with Seattle since Cano’s Dad is saying the Yankees aren’t even interested (and counter-offered the Mariners by way less). Jack Z has been looking for a big bat and here is a big bat.
This will be very good for Seattle to have Cano as clean-up. That way Seager can bat fifth and Miller or Franklin can bat third (in front of Cano) which gives both Miller or Franklin and Kyle Seager a chance to see a lot of good pitches because pitchers aren’t going to want to face Cano. It’s going to develop those guys a lot quicker and they will be great hitters.
Its a good move to pursue Cano, dontcha’ know (sorry, had to put that in there). Also, with Willie Bloomquist as utility, I think the Mariners are setting themselves up with success. I’d say deal Justin Smaok away and put Miller or Franklin at first base and keep Seager at third. Boom.
Punch your playoff tickets now, Mariners fans!
I finished up my latest blog entry concerning the Mariners coaching staff overhaul, I quietly crawled into bed last night and went to sleep. When I woke up this morning, the first thing I did was check my Twitter account and my emails. To my surprise the Mariners had announced the new coaching staff for 2014! I was ecstatic and promptly opened up my email to find out who had been chosen!
Andy Van Slyke: Huge, HUGE, Van Slyke fan! He played 13 seasons in the bigs, eight with the Pirates, four with the Cardinals, one with the Phillies and one with the Baltimore Orioles. As Lookout Landing tweeted earlier in the day, “My baseball card collection is buzzing!” No doubt will I try to get his autograph at the Safe next season! Hell, I may just get it at Fanfest ’14 to save the trouble!
Howard Johnson: HoJo! I nearly did a back flip when I saw his name pop up! Howard Johnson as the Mariners hitting coach?! Johnson’s 14 seasons in the Bigs is very well spread out as well. Playing the majority of his career with the New York Mets, he’s also played with the Tigers, Cubs, and Rockies. A career .249 hitter with 228 home runs in 4940 at-bats, I’d say Johnson is well versed in teaching young talent how to hit the ball.
Rick Waits is the new pitching coach while Mike Rojas is the bullpen coach and Chris Woodward will serve as the infield coach. Jason Phillips stays as the bullpen catcher along with Dave Hansen will remain as the assistant hitting coach if looking for another team to coach falls through.
Is it March yet?!