What’s Ahead

We’re just 12 days away from the start of Mariners spring training. The Mariners are getting an early jump on spring training because of the season-opening series in Japan against the Oakland A’s, March 28-29.

With that in mind, we’ll start looking at the positional battles to make the 2012 Rainiers roster. Of course, this directly ties in with the Mariners final roster decisions.

We’ll start on Wednesday with a look at the potential Rainiers catchers, and over the course of February we’ll work around the infield, move to the outfield, and then try to sort out the pitching staff.

Here are a few links from the weekend to keep you busy:

  • John McGrath went to Mariners FanFest and visited with pitching prospects Danny Hultzen, Taijuan Walker, and James Paxton.
  • At the Seattle Times, Jerry Brewer has a well-written column on the Mariners rebuilding process.
  • Left-hander Luke French, who was a free agent, signed with the Minnesota Twins. French was the ace of the Rainiers 2010 PCL championship team, so much that he got himself promoted to Seattle at the all-star break.
  • From the Mariners themselves, we have a big photo slideshow from FanFest. If you went, maybe you can find yourself in a picture. Add-on: that first link was from Saturday; they put up another slideshow of pictures from Sunday.
  • Here’s a nice baseball history story from Larry Stone, regarding Cal Ripken and the O’Brien brothers. Ripken will be in town this week.
  • In the PCL, the Fresno Grizzlies hosted their annual Hot Stove Banquet on Saturday night. Former major leaguer Vida Blue was the keynote speaker, and the new Fresno manager spoke about the team.
  • The Rockies haven’t yet decided if they are going to install a baseball humidor at the stadium in Colorado Springs. C’mon, guys, just do it. Sheesh.

Check back on Wednesday for the catching round-up.

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