Mariners Insider

Archives: March 2012

March
31st

Millwood and a bag of balls-style lineup

The Seattle Mariners mark their return from Japan with a Cactus League game that will feature Kevin Millwood and a bunch of players who were babies when the veteran right-hander turned pro.

Manager Eric Wedge clearly wants his regualrs – hell, is roster – to come in today, work out and go home. None will be playing. None will be on the bench.

Instead, it’s a San Diego split-squad vs. minor leaguers, on radio 710 ESPN at 6 p.m. this evening. Enjoy the lineup:

 Denny Almonte 8
 Daniel Carroll 7
Brad Miller 6
Rich Poythress 3
Stefen

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March
31st

And now, back to the Cactus League

The Seattle Mariners are 1-1 in the American League West and, having flown from Tokyo yesterday, will leap back into the Cactus League for five more games – starting tonight with a 6:05 p.m. game with San Diego.

Hold the applause.

It’s hard to imagine players or fans being inspired by these games, although for Eric Wedge and his staff they’re serious business – this team has to find ways to generate runs without two-thirds of it’s projected outfield, Mike Carp and Franklin Gutierrez.

Yes, the Mariners offense was supposed to be improved, but not so much that losing two

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March
29th

Mariners shortstop gets engaged in Japan

It was a good week for Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan, and not just because he scored the go-ahead run in the season-opening win over the Oakland A’s on Wednesday.

Ryan became engaged to his longtime girlfriend, Sharyn, Tuesday atop the 52-story Mori Tower in downtown Tokyo. The romantic drama included the safekeeping of the engagement ring by Felix Hernandez.

Ryan’s explanation on why Hernandez was his ring bearer: “If the ring was lost, only Felix could afford to replace it.”

March
29th

Carp lands on DL with sprained shoulder

Mike Carp was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday after spraining his right shoulder diving for a ball on opening day Wednesday at the Tokyo Dome.

He was replaced in left field by Chone Figgins for Thursday night’s wrap-up game against the Oakland A’s. Figgins’ spot at third base was filled by Kyle Seager.

In the fourth inning, Carp dove for ball hit by Kurt Suzuki that went for a double. Carp stayed in the game, went 0-for-4, and was examined Thursday. The extent of the injury awaits a re-evaluation when the team returns to spring training in Arizona

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March
28th

Setting up Game 2 for the Mariners in Japan

It’s going to be difficult for the Seattle Mariners to top the theatrics produced by Ichiro and Dustin Ackley in a 3-1 season-opening victory over the Oakland Athletics in 11 innings at the Tokyo Dome Wednesday, but they will give it a go Thursday when they hand the ball to Jason Vargas for the second and concluding game of a landmark trip to Japan.

You can watch the game live at 2 a.m. on ROOT Sports or the MLB channel. Or you can watch it on replay on the MLB channel at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. or ROOT Sports at 7:30 p.m.

The 29-year-old Vargas, the only lefty in Seattle’s five-man rotation, will oppose veteran Bartolo Colon, who will be making his first start for the Athletics after spending the 2011 season with the New York Yankees.

A closer look at the Game 2 pitching matchup:

MARINERS: LHP Jason Vargas (10-13, 4.25 ERA in 2012)

Vargas last faced the Athletics Sept. 26, 2011, beating them 4-2 for his 10th and final victory of the 2011 season. He allowed five hits over 8.0 innings and fanned 10.

Vargas, originally a second-round draft pick by the Florida Marlins (2004), has pitched for Seattle since 2009 and has a career record of 28-39 with a 4.53 ERA.
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March
27th

Mariners visit tsunami, earthquake zone in Japan


Mariners manager Eric Wedge has a little one-on-one with a little one Tuesday in Ishinomaki, Japan. Photo courtesy of Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

ISHINOWAKI, Japan – Awkward as the thing was, Eric Wedge caught a glimpse.

“The best thing was to see the looks on the kids’ faces, and even some of the adults,” said the Mariners manager of his brief afternoon stop in Downtown Bleakness. “It was probably the most enjoyable day they’ve had since the devastation. It was worth our time and then

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March
25th

Kawasaki a hit in M’s exhibition loss

TOKYO – For as much as Munenori Kawasaki idolizes his Mariners teammate and countryman, Ichiro, he emulates him not at all.

Extroverted as Ichiro is introverted, clownish as Ichiro is serious, Kawasaki Sunday was hailed as equally as the national hero by the sellout Tokyo Dome crowd – even a little more.

Maybe it was because the 30-year-old backup infielder did a little more – a double, against a single by Ichiro. Maybe it was because the eighth-inning two-bagger was unexpected.

“Unexpected” nearly has been his nickname throughout spring training. Signed as a minor league free agent, Kawasaki seems to have

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