Mariners Insider

Archives: Feb. 2013

Feb.
28th

Mariners 4, Giants 3 — Gutierrez, Franklin homer; Smoak keeps hitting

The facts

The Mariners won their sixth straight Cactus League game, thanks to a pair of solo homers from Nick Franklin (above) and Franklin Gutierrez (below) and an RBI double from Justin Smoak. Seattle roughed up Giants ace Matt Cain, scoring three runs on four hits in his three innings of work. The three pitches vying for the rotation – Jon Garland, Blake Beavan and Erasmo Ramirez – combined to pitch six innings allowing two runs (both charged to Beavan) on six hits.

Play

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Feb.
28th

The future: Hultzen and Walker looked sharp against the Indians

For the first four innings Wednesday, it was difficult not to imagine what the Seattle Mariners’ starting rotation could be in the coming years.

The Mariners know they have Felix Hernandez locked up for the next seven seasons, but the next question is, when will the plethora of pitching prospects in their minor league system be ready to join him?

Left-hander Danny Hultzen, ranked 29th in Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects, and right-hander Taijuan Walker, ranked 18th, gave a glimpse of what could be for the Mariners in the very near future.

The two youngsters threw

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Feb.
28th

Felix Hernandez throws 32 pitches in live BP session, signs about 40 autographs after

Felix Hernandez is slowly working way toward his first Cactus League appearance and 2013 season. On Thursday, Hernandez threw live batting practice for about 10 minutes. He threw a total of 32 pitches (video after the jump) to minor leaguers James Jones, Ji-Man Choi, Gabby Guerrero and Mike Dowd.

After doing the above interview with the media he signed autographs for at least 20 minutes, talking with delighted fans.

IMG_0891

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Feb.
27th

Mariners 5, Indians 1 — Peguero homers twice in Mariner fifth straight win

The facts

The Mariners won their fifth straight Cactus League game on the strength of two home runs from Carlos Peguero and some solid pitching led by top prospects Danny Hultzen and Taijuan Walker.  Hultzen and Walker pitched two shutout innings apiece and combined for six strikeouts and just one hit allowed.

Play of the game

With two outs, the bases loaded and disaster impending in the first inning of the first Cactus League start of the season for Danny Hultzen, the Mariners lefty struck

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Feb.
27th

Tom Wilhelmsen and the ballad of a change-up …

To look at the scorebook, it would seem like just another strikeout.

In his one inning of work in Sunday’s Cactus League game against the San Diego Padres, Tom Wilhelmsen ended the third inning with a swinging strikeout of Chase Headley.

But it was something more; something that could pay benefits for Wilhelmsen and the Seattle Mariners this season: a nice battle between the Mariners’ closer and the third baseman who was fifth in National League MVP voting last season.

The switch-hitting Headley, who batted .286 with 31 homers and 115 RBI last season, fell behind

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Feb.
27th

Mariners lineup vs. the Indians: Danny Hultzen, Taijuan Walker to pitch two innings each

# Player Pos.
13 Dustin Ackley (L) 2B
33 Casper Wells LF
15 Kyle Seager (L) 3B
8 Kendrys Morales (S) 1B
28 Raul Ibañez (L) DH
55 Michael Saunders (L) CF
27 Ronny Paulino C
4 Carlos Peguero (L) RF
26 Brendan Ryan SS
60 Danny Hultzen LHP

So today we get to see Danny Hultzen make his first Cactus League start this spring. He will pitch two innings and then will be replaced by Taijuan Walker, who will

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Feb.
26th

Mariners 6, Brewers 5 — Smoak is on fire

The Mariners won their fourth straight Cactus League game with a come from behind in Maryvale. Justin Smoak’s two-run homer proved to be the difference in the win.

Smoak had two hits on the day and probably should have had three. His hard opposite-field line drive was caught on a nice diving play by left-fielder Ryan Braun. For the spring, Smoak is 5-for-9 (.556) with two homers and a double and 4 RBI. Yes, spring training stats do not matter. But Smoak’s swing changes are a work in progress, and seeing tangible results particularly hard hit balls are important.

The home run (above) was a monster shot over the outfield berm in right center and it came off Brewers closer John Axford – not some kid from Class A.

Does this mean Smoak will do this during the regular season? There is no guarantee. But he feels comfortable with the swing. His approach is better and he’s balanced and staying on the ball and hitting it well. That’s a good sign for now.

Lots of videos after the jump …

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Feb.
26th

Today’s line-up vs. the Brewers (2/26/2013)

# Name Pos.
21 Franklin Gutierrez CF
55 Michael Saunders (L) LF
38 Michael Morse RF
17 Justin Smoak (S) DH
7 Kelly Shoppach C
35 Mike Jacobs (L) 1B
3 Robert Andino SS
36 Vinnie Catricala 3B
1 Carlos Triunfel 2B
18 Hisashi Iwakuma RHP

Extra Pitchers:

  • 23      Joe Saunders………………………….. LHP
  • 30      Bobby LaFromboise…………………. LHP
  • 31      Kameron Loe………………………….. RPH
  • 39      Danny Farquhar………………………. RHP

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