The Seattle Mariners are scattered across the Valley of the Sun today – a split-squad double-header that has some players on their way to Mesa for a 1 p.m. game, another group staying in camp for a 7 p.m. game in Peoria.
No, Franklin Gutierrrez isn’t in either lineup. Ryan Langerhans will start in center field against the Chicago Cubs, Michael Saunders will be there against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
And behind the plate in tonight’s televised game will be Miguel Olivo, who talked the talk three weeks ago and is now walking the walk. Hours after he strained a left groin muscle on March 5, Olivo said he’d be back behind the plate within two or three weeks.
On Wednesday, he caught three innings of a minor league game. On Thursday, he was the designated hitter in another minor league game. Apparently, that was enough to convince the Mariners trainers and staff that he was ready for more.
Olivo will catch Erik Bedard.
For a team with huge questions still looming, Olivo’s presence in the lineup tonight represents a positive. The Mariners need a few more of those in the next few days.