The Mariners had their first spring training exhibition game yesterday, and they dramatically defeated the San Diego Padres in ten innings, 13-12. Since it was the first M’s game in five months, nobody complained about the 3:38 time of game.
The Mariners were trailing 12-10 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning when Carlos Peguero hit a two-run home run to tie the game. Peguero is a name to know – I haven’t written about the outfield candidates for the 2011 Tacoma Rainiers yet, but he will be on the list. He’s got real power – I saw him launch two home runs in minor league spring training games last year, and I was only there for four days.
(Yes, I am going to spring training again this year, but not until March 25. To get the most value out of my visit, I need to go near the end of camp, when we have a better idea who is going to be on the Tacoma roster. I will, of course, write about it while I am down there).
Peguero threw out the go-ahead runner at home plate in the top of the tenth, and Josh Bard won it with a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the inning.
Talk about announcing your presence with authority. The Mariners new coaching staff probably had no idea who Carlos Peguero was before yesterday. Now, they are intrigued!
Even though Peguero has little chance of making the Mariners opening day roster, performances like yesterday’s can help him earn a promotion to Triple-A. Eric Wedge and his staff might become impressed enough to say “Let’s keep Peguero nearby. Put him in Tacoma.”
Other potential Rainiers had good games: Mike Carp, my spring training sleeper (see previous post), went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI. He played first base, though, and there isn’t room for him on the roster at that position. We all know Matt Mangini can hit, and he went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles. Mangini played third base.
Pitchers Yusmeiro Petit and Chris Smith, both possible Rainiers, worked scoreless innings. Reliever Danny Bautista had a rough outing, surrendering a grand slam and five runs in less than an inning. Bautista is one of the hard-throwing veterans with an outside chance of making the M’s roster, so that was a tough debut for him.
Isn’t it great to have baseball back? Let’s move on to the links!
- Here are your first-game-of-spring-training stories from Geoff Baker and Larry LaRue.
- The game was broadcast on 710 KIRO, and it was the first without Dave Niehaus. Rick Rizzs is feeling the loss.
- Scratch Jody Gerut off my soon-to-be-written list of potential Tacoma outfielders – he abruptly retired yesterday.
- Shannon Drayer wrote a solid feature on Blake Beavan, who is a good candidate to be the Tacoma Rainiers opening day starting pitcher.
- Jeff Sullivan of Lookout Landing explains why he thinks Dustin Ackley and Michael Pineda will open the season with Tacoma. Hint: it has nothing to do with performance.
- Former and potential Rainiers pitcher Robert Rohrbaugh is about to start a crucial spring training. In this story from York, PA, notice the photos – he has to work out in a gym full of basketball players.
- The Mariners apparently are close to signing longtime holdout James Paxton, a left-handed pitcher who has been playing Scott Boras games. At one time, he had a lot of potential. Does he still?
- Former Rainiers infielder Luis Valbuena is trying to solidify a spot in the Cleveland Indians starting lineup. This could be a make-or-break spring for him.
- Hall of Fame outfielder Duke Snider passed away at age 84. Here is his New York Times obituary. I noticed he was living in Escondido, where the PCL is hoping to add a team for 2013.
- However, the final stadium vote in Escondido has been “delayed indefinitely.”
- Baseball Prospectus minor league guru Kevin Goldstein posted his Top 101 Prospects list, and it’s free. He has a bit of a different take: he ranks Pineda #24, Ackley #25, Nick Franklin #44, and teenage slugger Guillermo Pimentel sneaks in there at #96.
- One of the key players for the Minnesota Twins is out of action because of a wart. I link to this for one reason: when we started this blog, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would ever type the word “wart.” Not even in a link to this guy.
It would be nice if it would stop snowing in Tacoma, so we could really get into the baseball frame of mind.