I was going to post this yesterday, but I got busy trying to get some stuff for the paper, and trying to get the Felix Hernandez video to load. Above is my weekly radio hit with KJR talking about the Mariners. I come on about 25 minutes into the show.
The Mariners confirmed that Francisco Martinez, a third base prospect acquired from Detroit in the Doug Fister trade, will work almost exclusively in the outfield this spring. Martinez , 23, hit .227 (80-for-352) with 16 doubles and 27 stolen bases for Double A Jackson. He had a .315 on-base percentage and just a .295 slugging percentage. Obviously, the lower power numbers don’t profile well for a third baseman. But he’s an outstanding athlete that can really run. There really aren’t a lot of center field types in Double A and Triple A.
Reliever Jhonny Nunez, who had visa issues coming out of his native Dominican Republic, has arrived. Catcher Ronny Paulino, who is having visa issues in the Dominican Republic as well, won’t arrive till Sunday or Monday.
The Mariners first full workout with position players will be today. Wedge usually delivers a brief speech to the players for the official start of camp. It’s not something he plans or scripts out.
But he knows what he wants to say.
“It’s different every year,” he said. “It should be different every year. The principles don’t change, but the message does because we’re in a different situation.”
Veteran free agent pitchers Jon Garland and Jeremy Bonderman threw bullpen sessions on Friday, and caught the eye of Willis and Wedge.
“Garland has been really good,” Willis said. “Good angle. The ball is doing what it’s supposed to do with all of his pitches. He’s not game ready yet. But his delivery is working and I’ve been very pleased. Bonderman was really good today. He was able to stay behind the baseball and get out in front. He had some sink and was down at the bottom of the zone. They are two veteran guys that have been there before and know how to do it. It’s just a matter of where they are at physically.
“They both looked good today,” Wedge said. “They’re both very ready to pitch. They came in here ready to go and I think that was evident with what you saw today in the bullpens.” … The Mariners confirmed that third base prospect Francisco Martinez, who was acquired in the Doug Fister trade, will work almost exclusively in center field this spring. Martinez, 23, hit .227 (80-for-352) with 16 doubles and 27 stolen bases for Double A Jackson.