Who doesn’t like some quick notes on their Monday lunch break?
- Just when it looked like the Mariners season was going to fall apart before it started, it now looks like it probably won’t. Of course, both feelings were based on spring training, which is usually not a good way to go. Cliff Lee is still injured, but there have now been good performances in the last week from everyone else expected to be in the rotation. Ryan Rowland-Smith looked sharp yesterday, although his velocity was a little down from what you’d like to see. Has anyone heard if it’s just a slow gun in Peoria? Fister threw four innings today as he’s mostly recovered from that forearm bruise, and looks like he should be good to go to start the year.
- Speaking of Lee, his suspension appeal hearing that was supposed to be today was postponed indefinitely. He also was shut down for 5 days to rest his abdominal strain. I think that time is about up, so hopefully we’ll know more about when he’ll be back later this week. At this point, I think he’s a 95% bet to start on the DL. Even if he recovers quickly, he’ll still need to stretch out a little bit after a spring of little work. In the interest of keeping hopes down, I’m planning on him returning around May 1st. Anything before that is a great bonus.
- Bedard threw off a mound today, which is a huge step. He didn’t throw real hard, of course, but the added strain from throwing from a mound compared to flat ground is a big hurdle to overcome. It sounded like everything went well today, so hope for very little soreness tomorrow. The team sounds very enthused about his comeback, and he’s theoretically way ahead of schedule, but setbacks can happen in a hurry. May 1st or shortly thereafter isn’t out of the realm of possibility form him either, but I would plan on closer to June 1st.
- We are now seeing the downside of an NCAA tournament with a ton of upsets, in my opinion, that being a pretty uninteresting Final Four. As great of a story as Butler is, I just can’t get excited about seeing them in a semi-final, much less the final. I want the big names! I couldn’t even tell you who the best NBA prospect still playing is. Any thoughts? It’s been a great tournament to watch thus far though.
- Spring practice for the Huskies starts tomorrow. I’ll try to get to a few practices, and I’m sure Andrew will make a few more. See Andrew’s spring preview posts for an idea of some of the issues the Huskies are looking at. I’ll try to put up a quick post with some of the biggest questions the Huskies have this spring later today or tomorrow.
Mariners season opener is in a week, April 5th! Everybody getting excited? You know I am! A few things to watch this last week of spring training:
- Roster moves: the roster seems fairly set, but watch for injuries or a random surprise.
- Cliff Lee: once there’s some resolution on the appeal and he throws again, we should have a better idea of a return date.
- Can the pitching staff, especially the rotation stay sharp and stretch out to 80+ pitches in their last starts before the season?
- This should be the time where numbers start to mean a little more for the hitters. The veterans especially should be getting a little more locked in.