Sadly, I’m not taking in Spring Training in person. On this dreary Seattle day, watching baseball under the warm sun, with a Pepsi and hot dog in hand, sounds about perfect. Instead I’m stuck reading about every bit of Mariner news coming out of Peoria.
Nothing major has happened in Spring Training. No news is good news at this point, because it means that people aren’t getting injured. Sooner or later, there will be roster cuts to discuss but for now we’re left talking about these very not-news worthy bullet points:
- Undefeated! The Mariners have not lost a game in Spring Training yet. What does this mean? Nothing. But, I suppose you’d rather win than lose. On Saturday, the Mariners won in the 10th inning because of the late-game heroics by Carlos Peguero and Josh Bard. On Sunday, our Mariners tied with the Padres. Then today, they beat the Rangers 5-4. If these results continue, the Mariners will give us some of the most exciting Spring Training (oxymoron) Seattle has ever seen.
- Erik Bedard is still healthy. Pitchers and catchers reported to camp 16 days ago and there has been no news of Bedard falling apart. We’re still a long ways away from the season starting and to expect Bedard to pitch a full year is a bit unrealistic, but this has been a good start. He pitched on Saturday against the Padres and had a 1-2-3 inning. If he is healthy, the Mariners rotation starts to look pretty decent.
- There have been several stories about Dustin Ackley and Michael Pineda staying in the minors because of the service time issue. Jeff Sullivan, over at Lookout Landing, gave us the reasons (or excuses that will be given) as to why Ackley and Pineda might start the season in the minors. Geoff Baker also touched on what those two are working on. The sensible thing is to start these guys in the minors. If the organization keeps them in Tacoma for 2 months, then they gain a year in which they’re under contract. But, there are reasons why they should start with the team too. If the Mariners don’t improve, Jack Z won’t be around in 2016 when Ackley’s and Pineda’s extra year would be played. If these two are the best option for the team right now, I can see why the organization would want to put them out there. It might not be the most sensible thing but it could result in a few extra wins that would save Z’s job.
- In today’s game Steve Baron and Adam Kennedy both hit a home run. For those of you that don’t know anything about these players, they aren’t exactly known for their hitting. Dan wrote a post about making 3 half court shots in a row the other week. He wondered what the odds were. I can guarantee the odds of Steve Baron and Adam Kennedy each hitting a home run in the same game are far worse. Baseball is great because of things like that.
- Maybe the biggest news out of the Spring thus far doesn’t have to do with the team working out. The biggest news may be the signing of James Paxton. He hasn’t officially signed yet, but he’s in Seattle today having a physical. Paxton was the 4th round pick by the Mariners in last years draft, and was the 37th overall pick in 2009. He’s left-handed starter who could really bolster the Mariners minor league pitching depth. Once he enters the organization, Paxton will most likely be in the organizations top-10 prospects and one of the best pitching prospects the Mariners have. He has barely pitched over the last year and a half, but if he shakes off the rust good things could be in his (and the Mariners) future. Lookout Landing has a piece on him.Prospect Insider, which has the best insight on the Mariners farm system in my opinion, says they’d place Paxton as the number 9 prospect on the organization. That’s assuming he can get back to the pitcher he was before the long lay off.
That’s about all the news that I’ve found interesting. Of course, it’s hard to follow this team without think of the man missing in the broadcast booth. The loss of Dave will be felt throughout the season, and it has already began.
Thanks for reading!