Mariners Insider

Archives: March 2011

March
28th

A lineup that looks like opening day …

Against the dreaded Colorado Rockies today, manager Eric Wedge  is running out a lineup that, except for one position, is almost certainly the Seattle Mariners opening day group.

Catcher Adam Moore is behind the plate today, and Miguel Olivo figures to handle that job opening night in Oakland.

Michael Saunders is in center field, which means Franklin Gutierrez and his ailing stomach have now missed nine consecutive games. Seems impossible at this point that Gutierrez will open the season healthy.

Oh, and while Jason Vargas has pitched well all spring, it figures the younger kid - Felix Hernandez - will get

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March
28th

Mariners now down to 27 healthy bodies

Morning cuts can’t be fun for the cutter or the cuttee, but the Seattle Mariners moved three players – Luke French, Chris Gimenez and Josh Bard – to the minor leagues today.

That leaves the team with 27 healthy players in camp, and only 25 spots for them on the opening night roster.

Who’s still on the bubble? Infielders Josh Wilson and Luis Rodriguez and pitchers Tom Wilhelmsen, Cesar Jimenez and David Pauley. Then there’s the Franklin Gutierrez situation – and if it appears he can’t go, Michael Saunders makes the team and Gutierrez goes on the disabled list.

March
27th

Olivo on Felix: “I don’t know how they hit him …”

 

Felix Hernandez needed the work, the Seattle Mariners didn’t want him facing the Texas Rangers, so he wound up on the mound against minor league hitters today.

Felix struggled – to throw enough pitches

Pitching coach Carl Willis wanted 95 pitches, and when Felix had only 20 in the third inning, Willis cheated. He kept Hernandez on the mound for five outs. In what was technically the seventh inning, Felix got three quick outs and held up two fingers.

“I wanted two more hitters,” Hernandez said. He got the

Catcher Miguel Olivo was behind the plate

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March
27th

Mariners cut down to 14 pitchers, 30 players

Three days before they break camp and head north, the Seattle Mariners made five cuts this morning – including utilityman Matt Tuiasosopo and lefty Royce Ring – that put their numbers closer to that opening day 25.

Tuiasosopo was optioned to Tacoma. Ring, outfielder Mike Wilson and right-handers Denny Bautista and Justin Miller were reassigned to minor league camp.

The moves left the team with 14 healthy pitchers in  camp and only 12 roster spots available, and 16 positions players looking at 13 roster spots.

Who’s left on the bubble?

Infielder Josh Wilson and Adam Kennedy are likely going to

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March
26th

Morning tidbits from a quiet Mariners camp

Manager Eric Wedge wanted his team to get a break after a day-night, split-squad double-header Friday, so the clubhouse didn’t open until 8 a.m. – and there’s no workout scheduled this morning.

So what’s up?

  • Outfielder Gabe Gross asked for and was given his release from minor league camp and is now a free agent. Gross didn’t show much in the field or at the plate, and even with Franklin Gutierrez down, the Mariners didn’t call for him.
  • Felix Hernadez will make his last start of the spring tomorrow in a minor league game in Peoria, and likely will throw 90-95

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March
25th

Adieu, Jose Flores, you’re off to be an Indian

There was more than a little surprise at the winter meetings last December when Seattle Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik made a Rule 5 draft pick and took pitcher Jose Flores from Cleveland.

Under the rules of the draft, any player taken must remain on the 25-man roster all season or be offered back to his orginal team.

Given that Flores, 21, had never pitched above Class A, it seemed more than a long shot – more like a waste of inings and energy. Well, Flores pitched  4 2/3 innings this spring – including one in an intrasquad game –

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March
25th

For Mariners, good news: Olivo is catching

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

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March
24th

Franklin Gutierrez isn’t healthy yet


Franklin Gutierrez – still ailing

Franklin Gutierrez, the Gold Glove center fielder who’s battled stomach ailments for more than a year, hasn’t played in the Seattle Mariners last four games – isn’t in the lineup today – and is undergoing more medical tests.

“We’ve got to get Franklin to a place where he feels comfortable,” general manager Jack Zduriencik said. “It’s bothering him, and we’re waiting for more test results. Franklin doesn’t feel strong.”

With a week left in spring training, Gutierrez hasn’t played or taken part in full workouts this week, and probably needs

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