Mariners Insider

Mariners Camp 2012 – Come along for the ride

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on Feb. 9, 2012 at 8:12 am with 21 Comments »
February 9, 2012 8:12 am
Felix Hernandez & pitching coach Carl Willis

Catching an early flight tomorrow, headed for the Seattle Mariners spring training, and starting Sunday this space will begin producing stories, photos and – yikes! – video on what should be an eventful 40 days.

That’s about the time the Mariners will have between the first pitchers-and-catchers workout Sunday and the time they fly to Japan for a few exhibition games and the two-game season-opening series agains Oakland in Tokyo. Given the issues this team has to deal with, that’s not a lot of time.

What to expect from Camp ’12? First-looks at Mariners rookies from Jesus Montero to pitching prospects Dan Hultzen, Taijuan Walker, James Paxton and Erasimo Ramirez. Major questions like where Ichiro will bat in what could be a new-look lineup, who starts at third base – Chone Figgins, anyone? – and how long it will be before Carlos Guillen strains a leg muscle.

What can you expect to find here this spring? Daily updates and notes, news as it happens, interviews with players, coaches, manager Eric Wedge and general manager Jack Zduriencik. We’ll also have some fun, anecdotes and photos from the desert, new information on an from your favorite players.

Love to have you involved, and we can start that process today. What questions would you ask, and of whom, if you had the chance? What issues for the Seattle Mariners are most impoprtant to you? Who would you like to know more about?

Let me know, and we’ll start this run through spring training together, starting Sunday.

Leave a comment Comments → 21
  1. LaCroix says:

    Here’s a question for Chone Figgins:
    Do you feel guilty receiving ‘star money’ when you can’t even hit well enough to start at your position?

  2. footballscaa says:

    Have fun Larry, maybe I’ll see you there.

  3. footballscaa says:

    LaCroix, that could be the “duh” question of the week.

  4. Just release Chone Figgins already and eat the money. He gives baseball players a bad name.

  5. williambryan says:

    question I would like answered: How close was the team to signing Prince Fielder?

  6. My question: Are we EVER going to have a team with a winning record again? 2012 doesn’t look real good for the M’s from that pov.

  7. wabubba67 says:

    Ask the 18 million dollar man, why he needs an interpreter if he can both speak and understand English? Why does he feel it necessary to stay in different hotels than his teammates while on the road? Why does he occasionally bunt with two outs and a runner on 2nd? Would he ever consider playing in another city or country to finish out his career?

  8. I personally don’t think that Fielder was ever really in play here, unless we threw him an ABSURD (like $200+ million isn’t already absurd, I know) amount of money. With the current lineup and ballpark, he most likely would have walked 150 times and not have the same type of power numbers. On top of that, Seattle travels more than any other MLB team most years, doesn’t have the same type of media coverage as the majority of other teams, and is obviously two years or more from competing for championships.

    As for Figgins, I get that the team is not trying to eat the last two years of his contract without anything. I think they are trying to see if he can start a season hot, trade him, and get something in return from a team that suffers an injury or something. I’m not saying I agree with it, but I understand it.

    Moo, I think we will have a winning record in 2013. That season should have Felix, Paxton, Hultzen, and possibly Walker in the rotation. Also, the young players will be veterans, and the team will probably make a significant push in free agency after the 2012 season when Ichiro comes off the books.

    In regards to Ichiro, the man just had the first real ‘down’ season of his remarkable career. If he doesn’t bounce back, this is probably his last season in Seattle. Even if he does bounce back, this is his last season with a huge contract. Give him a break, huh? Let’s appreciate what the man has accomplished in Seattle and in baseball history.

  9. Larry, have a good trip down there. Looking forward to the updates on how the young guys are progressing.

  10. SandlotSam says:

    Question for Wedge:
    Is it a possibility that Ackley could end up playing a different position in the next couple years?

  11. footballscaa
    What’s so ‘duh’ about it. Different players have different attitudes and I’d like to know how he feels about it.

  12. Larry, how about looking up Ichiro’s translator, Antony, and finding out what Ichi’s been doing to get ready for this very different season for himself–the first in his life coming off a mediocre year. (Don’t know how much he’s allowed to say.) And also, how it’s going to work for Iwakuma and Kawasaki. By the way, Larry, if you were fluent in Japanese, how’d you like to have Antony’s job? Talk about a thankless enterprise…

  13. jchawks08 says:

    Who’s on 1st? Smoak, Carp, Montero, Guillen?
    For 3rd base, I’d love nothing more than to see Carlos Guillen beat out Figgins for the 3rd base job, release Figgins, then when Guillen pulls his hammy and/or quad, we call up Seager who’s just gotten some more seasoning in AAA. And then he promptly tears it up in Seattle.
    Nothing better than this time of year.

    Oh, Coach, Wabubba is a known and admitted Ichiro Hater. You have to take everything he says about the man with a grain of salt. Every post I’ve seen him write he is sure to mention Ichiro and his 18,000,000 salary. Seems very bitter about that fact. It’s sports. These guys all make absurd money, and I’m ok with it. Sue me.

  14. jchawks08 says:

    Well except Figgins. NOT ok with that money. Ouch.. At some point, guilt would make you give some back, right? LOL riiiiiight.

  15. jchawks – Haha! I hear ya. At least Ichiro has earned the overwhelming majority of his money during his time in Seattle (especially since he vastly outperformed his first contract). Hard to argue with the man’s production over his first 10 seasons: 10 All-Star selections, 10 Gold Gloves, 2 batting titles, ROY, MVP, 10 200-hit seasons, etc. Is he easy to understand and relate to? No. Does he give great interviews? No. Have teammates complained about him at times? Yes. That being said, I don’t thing any of those teammates that complained were nearly at his level as a player…could be wrong, but I doubt it. And yes, these guys are all paid obscene amounts of money, but I am also ok with it. Except Figgins…that guy hasn’t earned a dime.

  16. I’m gonna be down there in March for a week so prepare for a cheap scotch shortage.

  17. I’d like to know…..
    1. How do the veteran relievers who signed non-roster deals with invites to Spring Training feel about these two late guys (Kuo and Camp) getting major-league contracts, virtually locking up the bullpen for 2012?
    2. Will Mike Wilson be back? (I don’t see him on any lists of who is invited to Spring Training. I’ll miss him if he’s gone!)
    3. How many Mariners took the “Look at Mike Carp!” advice seriously, and went out and got “buff” this winter?
    4. What does Jesus Montero look like as a catcher? Any serious chance of sticking there?
    5. What will the Mariners do differently to ensure that all these hot prospects- especially the pitchers- fulfill their potential, and don’t flame out as so many of their historic “top prospects” have done?
    6. Which of the NRIs looks like seriously pushing to make a contribution in 2012?
    7. How will the Rainiers sort out their crowded outfield? (Peguero, Robinson, Saunders, Catricala, ?Wilson?, Chieng, Chavez, Tenbrink, and probably a few others who I’m forgetting.)
    8. How important are friendships among players in selecting the final roster? Do the Mariners want Ichiro to have a couple of other Japanese players on the roster, as they used to have with Kaz and Shiggy? Does being friendly with Felix give Cesar Jiminez a leg up on a bullpen role?
    9. Does Adam Moore have any chance, after his horrible start to 2011?
    10. Who emerges as a “leader” in the clubhouse? Who are the guys the rest of the team looks to for direction?

  18. wabubba67 says:

    Branch Rickey: “Better to trade a player one year too early, rather than one year too late.”

    Mariners organization: “We won’t deal fan favorites to replenish our young talent. Instead, we’ll keep them around because that makes casual fans feel warm and fuzzy.” (I feel sorry for Z, because I think his hands are tied at times by Armstrong/Lincoln.)

  19. “At times”??! Methinks it’s 80% of the time or more.

  20. What’s weaker than making up statements and putting them in quotes? If you can’t support your argument with facts…

  21. wabubba67 says:

    to–I don’t know…maybe not recognizing history objectively??

    Take a look at the fan favorites over the years. (Edgar, Boone, Olerud, Wilson, Buhner, Ichiro) Did we receive anything in return when they were aging, but still somewhat desired commodities. No. That is what is known as a fact.

    Branch Rickey actually said that. (fact)

    I did take some creative license and quote the Mariners organization…although that quote is reflective of (wait…be patient…still wait) THE FACTS.

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