Mariners Insider

Archives: March 2011

March
30th

A few last minute thoughts from Eric Wedge

About 48 hours before the opening night game with Oakland, Seattle Mariners manager Eric Wedge met with the media and chatted amiably about any number of topics – although his usual caution remained.

How tight-lipped is the skipper? He declined to say who his closer was – he mentioned Brandon League, Chris Ray and Jamey Wright - or who would start in center field in place of Franklin Gutierrez.

Why?

“I haven’t told them, and I’m not going to tell you until I have,” Wedge said. “We’ll deal with it all tomorrow and let you know.”

Ugh – a man

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March
29th

Mariners spring surprises, disappointments

The Seattle Mariners are breaking out of a spring training camp that began six weeks ago and produced a 25-man roster today.

Along the way, there were pleasent surprises and disappointments, long shots made and promise shown.

Promises made? Dustin Ackley showed no major league pitching overwhelmed him, and that some time this season the Mariners can expect him to become a line-drive-hitting second baseman.

Disappointments? Hard-throwing rookie Dan Cortes couldn’t harness his fastball, and velocity without command ruined his chances of returning to the Seattle bullpen.

Pleasent surprises? Did anyone really think Erik Bedard would sail through camp pitching

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March
29th

Wilhelmsen makes Mariners final 25

General manager Jack Zduriencik just made a press-room appearance to clarify the last roster move setting up the Seattle Mariners opening day 25-man roster.

In: Rookie right-handed pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen, who has never thrown a pitch above Class A – and who didn’t pitch professionally for nearly six years.

Out: Left-handed pitcher Cesar Jimenez, who had such a poor spring (9.82 ERA) that he sailed through waivers and has now been outrighted to the Tacoma Rainiers.

That makes it 25 – and here they are.

Rotation (5) : Felix Hernandez, Jason Vargas, Doug Fister, Erik Bedard, Michael Pineda.

Bullpen (7):

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March
29th

One final lineup in the Arizona sun

The team is packing it’s equipment truck with bats, balls and suitcases of all sizes and colors as the team prepares to break camp after one last game in  Arizona.

Against the dreaded Rockies on the road, the Mariners have a 1:05 game that will be televised, and manager Eric Wedge has put starters and one minor leaguer in his lineup.

Ichiro and Chone Figgins get a break today, second baseman Jack Wilson will leave camp healthy but won’t play today, and minor league outfielder James McOwen will start in left field. McOwen, remember, crashed into a fence in Albuequerque

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March
29th

Aardsma – From zero to sixty in 30 days

A month ago, David Aardsma was on crutches, which made him seem a long way from closing games for the Seattle Mariners.

December hip surgery had been more serious than initially expected, and Aardsma was hurting – even walking on crutches was painful Then there were the rehab excercises, the pool work, the stretches …

Yesterday, Aardsma took the mound for the first time for a serious bullpen sessions.

“I threw 20 pitches at 100 per cent,” he said this morning. “Well, 100 per cent of what I’ve got. I’m a little sore today, but it’s a good sore. I

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March
28th

2011 season predictions from the TNT staff: Who ya got?

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels, right, sits in the dugout with fellow Phillies starting pitchers from left; Roy Oswalt, Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, and Joe Blanton (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

On Sunday, we began our week-long baseball preview, starting with all kinds of capsules, my power rankings and our staff predictions.

I also wrote a column talking a little about why it seems like everyone seems to pick from the same set of teams.

Look, there is no science in this. It’s a guess. We look at the same things as you do. Sure I went to spring training for two weeks, but that doesn’t make me an expert in baseball prognostication. About the only the thing that trips makes me an expert on is proper SPF and In-N-Out burger.

Want proof that there is the so-called “experts” can be wrong, look at last year’s picks from us.  Not one of us had the Giants or the Rangers.  Only myself and Dave Boling had the Rangers winning the AL West and John McGrath had the Mariners winning the division.

But it’s fun to make predictions. It’s fun to try and guess how it will all play out. It’s a lot different than an NCAA tourney bracket because it’s not one game. It’s a grueling marathon. All of us picked the Mariners to finish last in the AL West, and the rest of our picks probably won’t surprise you too much.

So here’s our picks below. Please post your picks. And share your thoughts on ours.

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March
28th

And yet another Mariners Monday update …

Adam Kennedy, a non-roster invitee, has won a spot on the bench of the 2011 Seattle Mariners.

Kennedy, 35, took the roster spot of infielder Josh Wilson, released earlier today. Though he cannot play shortstop, Kennedy can play anywhere else in the infield and even played a few spring games in the outfield.

“He’s versatile, he gives you a professional at- at and he knows how to play the game,” manager Eric Wedge said.

The decision left the Mainers with 13 healthy pitchers and and 14 position players, although one – outfielder Franklin Gutierrez - seems destined for the disabled

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March
28th

And now, a Mariners roster update …

Josh Wilson, a 30-year-old utility infielder, was released today, bringing the number of healthy bodies in camp for the Seattle Mariners to …. 26.

That’s one more than they’ll have when the 2011 season begins for them on Friday, and there’s a suspcion that general manager Jack Zduriencik is looking for a right-handed hitting outfielder.

If not, the final decision appears to come down to two players – left-handed pitcher Cesar Jimenez or infielder Luis Rodriguez.

Jimenez is out of options, meaning if they don’t keep him they almost certainly lose him. Rodrguez is a non-roster invitee who can play

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