Mariners Insider

Archives: Feb. 2012

Feb.
27th

A spring loss that matters: Frank Mattox

Tragic news shook the Seattle Mariners camp today when the team learned that long-time scout and team executive Frank Mattox, 49, died suddenly at his Arizona home Sunday.

Mattox had been with the Mariners since 1995, when he became a scout for Seattle. Three years later, he was named Mariners Scouting Director, and in 2004 he became the director of player development.

“It is difficult to put into words the depth of the Mariners sadness upon hearing the news,” team president Chuck Armstrong said. “I have known and worked with Frank for nearly 20 years. His positive personality, scouting acumen

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Feb.
27th

Two intra-squad games in, any surprises?

The Cactus League doesn’t open until Friday – when Seattle plays Oakland – but the Mariners didn’t wait for it.

They banged out two intra-squad games and have two more scheduled (Tuesday and Wednesday).  Conclusions?  Felix Hernandez and his 9.00 earned run average  and the Mariners first looks at Chone Figgins leading off and Ichiro Suzuki batting third have been encouraging.

Yes, Felix gave up a solo home run to Franklin Gutierrez in his one inning of work, then got three quick outs.

Surprises in camp? There have been a few already.

Those three young phenoms – Dan Hultzen, Taijuan Walker

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Feb.
26th

A miserable day with a silver lining

Shortstop Brendan Ryan continues his slow progress back from a neck and shoulder injury last year, and added to his miseries today by fouling a Brandon Leagtue split-fingered fastball off his left big toe.

Yes, it hurt. Ryan went down at the plate,like a bug belly up in the butter dish, and the crowd on hand was treated to some colorful language before Ryan limped into the clubhouse.

“It’s a little sore, but it’ll be fine. I have a damaged spirit and pride, that’s all,” Ryan said later.

In ihs first at-bat, against Felix Hernandez, Ryan struck out.

“i don’t

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Feb.
26th

Grab a pen! Intra-squad lineups are up!

The Seattle Mariners face off in their second intra-squad game of the spring today, and as such things go it’s hard to get better than having a Cy Young Award winner start the thing.

Yes, it’s Felix Hernandez vs. Kevin Millwood – for an inning, anyway. And the lineups are intriguing, too:

Team A
Chone Figgins 3B
Dustin Ackley 2B
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Justin Smoak 1B
Miguel Olivo C
Casper Wells CF
Adam Moore DH
Trayvon Robinson LF
Munenori Kawasaki SS

Team B
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Brendan Ryan DH

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Feb.
26th

Mike Carp: The rebuilt Seattle Mariner

Seventeen months ago, Mike Carp  literally limped through his second big-league call up, playing 13 September games, hitting all of .171 and winding up on the disabled list with plantar fascia.

Prospects for the then-24-year-old? Minimal.

So Carp decided to build a leaner, sleeker candidate, one with broader shoulders, a narrower waist and quicker bat.

And damned if didn’t work.

What the new-improved Carp did last year establish himself as a big-league hitter, tossing in 25 August RBI and a 20-game hitting streak – batting a solid .276 in 79 games, with 17 doubles, 12 home runs and 46 RBI.

Figure

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Feb.
25th

Blake Beavan adds a weapon: Vision

As a rookie, Blake Beavan won five games for the Seattle Mariners in 2011, building a case for staying in the rotation this year – though he was at a disadvantage at times.

At 6-foot-7, 240 pounds, Beavan flashed the ability to go deep into games and command the strike zone, walking 15 batters in 15 starts.

His biggest problem? Beavan couldn’t see the signs from his catcher – especially at night, on the road.

“With the home white uniforms, I could read them, but when we were on the road wearing gray at night, there were times I couldn’t

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Feb.
25th

A nice start for Vargas & the three babies

It was the only game in town, and the Seattle Mariners first intra-squad game of 2012 was a well-attended affair Friday that saw flashes of the future in an intriguing little debut game for rookie pitchers Dan Hultzen, Taijuan Walker and James Paxton.

And while those three fought off nerves and some command issues, it was the venerable Jason Vargas, 29, who owned the day – and the hitters.

In two scoreless innings, Vargas was perfect while striking out four.

“I threw a lot of curves, a few changeups and felt good,” Vargas said. “Next time around, probably three innings.

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Feb.
24th

Intra-squad game alters camp

It’s an intra-squad game, the first of camp, though some Seattle Mariners are taking it far more seriously than others.

For veterans, it’s no more than a few at-bats and the chance to get the jitters out on the field. For rookies, however – like pitchers Dan Hultzen, Taijuan Walker and James Paxton – it’s the first time facing major league hitters who don’t know what’s coming.

“They’ve all throw batting practice, but there the hitter knows what’s coming,” pit ching coach Carl Willis said. “I imagine their heart rates will jump a bit.”

Catcher Jesus Montero remembered his first

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