Yes, it’s raining again in Peoria, which is going to cause problems with a full-squad workout, but nothing the Seattle Mariners won’t resolve.
As the team heads into March, there are issues to be resolved that weren’t as obvious two weeks ago:
- Can Jose Lopez play third base well enough to free Chone Figgins to play third? Clearly, this is an experiment the team will continue into the middle of the exhibition schedule.
- What will the opening day catching corps look like? Manager Don Wakamatsu made it simple the other day when he said the two best defensive catchers will break camp. Rob Johnson will almost certainly be one, the second will either rookie Adam Moore or veteran Josh Bard. Offense won’t be a major factor.
- Can Ian Snell emerge as the No. 3 man in the Seattle rotation? A bit flakey, a lot inconsistent, the 28-year-old righty would break up lefties Cliff Lee and Ryan Rowland-Smith if he goes third.
- Can Mike Sweeney get a big league deal? It’s a huge longshot with Seattle, but the question is why another team hasn’t approached him about coming off the bench in ’10. Sweeney is in better physical shape this spring than last and batted .287 a year ago.
- Is Casey Kotchman a middle of the lineup hitter? Seattle thinks he could be, though he never has been in the big leagues. A left-handed hitter whose swing may be tailored to Safeco Field, the Mariners are putting a lot of faith in the first baseman.
There aren’t more than a few dozen other questions to be answered, but for the final wet morning of February, those will do.