Top o’ the mornin’ to ya
Headline: Two weeks from the regular season, the Mariners continue to prepare for 2013
St. Patrick’s Day celebrates many things, but for Mariner’s fans, it meant a lovely afternoon with our beloved team on the telly. Games this Spring have been sporadically on tv, and with the Mariners hitting better than any team this spring (1st in home runs, batting average and many other offensive categories) it was great to spend time watching.
Below are the notes and observations made from Sunday’s game.
SP Blake Beaven started against a B-squad Texas Rangers squad, the only projected regular being 1B/DH Lance Berkman. There was some extra pressure on Beavan Sunday, as opening day approaches and his spot far from solidified.
Root Sports showed the remaining players vying for the final rotation spots, and the list is still quite large despite five pitchers being sent down on Friday.
The Big Three, Danny Hultzen, James Paxton, and Taijuan Walker, were all sent down in that group, and yet Beavan and at least six other players are still fighting for 3 spots (giving Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma).
Beavan’s case: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER and 2K’s. Beavan was perfect through 10 batters before giving up a triple in the 4th. Although he gave up the run after the triple, Beavan avoided a bad situation with runners on second and third and one out to finish the 4th.
He reminds me of former M’s pitcher Doug Fister just before he figured it out. Let’s hope Beavan figures it out soon.
Offensive and defensive notes
CF Franklin Gutierrez hit lead-off for the Mariner’s once again, one of Manager Eric Wedge’s trends of late, going 0 for 2 with a walk. 2B Dustin Ackley, the projected lead-off hitter, hit 8th today, and may benefit from moving down in the lineup, especially if Gutierrez remains healthy and hitting well.
1B/DH Kendrys Morales is coming into form; he hit a home run right-handed on Saturday, and showed confidence at the plate on Sunday with a 2-run-home run, this one was a screamer down the line left-handed!
Ryan’s defense is certainly one of the best in the Majors, but if Andino can prove his defensive abilities, Ryan may lose at-bats to a better offensive producer.
Hiding one of them seems possible with Guti and Michael Saunders able to pick up the slack, but playing both at the same time (in the regular season) would be a poor choice for Seattle.
Having said that, Bay was 2 for 4 and Ibanez hit his third home run of the spring in the 4th off Texas closer Joe Nathan.
It’s almost April 1!
Cheers, and Go M’s!