The first live pitching in camp for the Seattle Mariners was a mostly one-sided affair today, in large part because most hitters didn’t swing when facing their teammates on the mound.
“They’re doing a lot of tracking on day one,” general manager Jack Zduriencik said. “Hitters want to see pitches move, read them. The pitchers are throwing well.”
Erik Bedard, Michael Pineda, Dan Cortes, Josh Lueke, Garrett Olson and others took the mound on practice fields after a week of bullpen work. Ichiro, Gabe Gross, Jody Gerut, Alex Liddi and Matt Tuiasosopo were in the group facing Bedard.
Only Tuiasosopo swung, and he fouled one pitch off and grounded another up the middle.
“Erik looked good and he was throwing three pitches for strikes,” Zduriencik said.
Cortes worked more on command than velocity, but admitted when he looked up and saw Ichiro stand in against him, he was surprised.
“I’ve watched him but never seen him at the plate,” Cortes said. “I was thinking, ‘Oh, man – does he have to be the first guy I face?”
Icihro didn’t swing and, after standing in, stood to one side watching each of Cortes’ pitches.
Coaches called it a ‘learning experience’ for pitchers and hitters.