Gearing Up For Arizona

Today’s post is mostly a bunch of links, but things are going to be getting a lot more interesting around here very soon.

Early on Monday morning (so early that some of us would consider it Sunday night), I’ll be flying down to Arizona to catch three full days of Rainiers spring training. You can expect multiple blog posts detailing my observations from Mariners minor league camp. I may even sneak over to a big league game at some point.

Speaking of major league spring training, the Mariners made one roster move yesterday, reassigning outfielder Cole Gillespie to minor league camp. That leaves 39 players in big league camp.

We’ve had Gillespie inked into the Tacoma lineup since he signed as a minor league free agent in January – but he had a really good spring and made it this long in major league camp. He’s got a chance to get called up during the season if things break his way.

Links:

  • Yesterday’s News Tribune has an article on where things stand in Mariners camp: who is on the team, and what are the final questions.
  • Good news from Peoria: Hisashi Iwakuma has been cleared to resume throwing.
  • The Bob Dutton Q&A’s on his blog are pretty enlightening – here’s one from Tuesday that answers a lot of good questions.
  • Bob Condotta wrote a feature on new Mariners first base coach Andy Van Slyke.
  • Nick Franklin got the Fangraphs treatment (warning: stats!).
  • Ryan Divish wrote a blog post discussing the Franklin situation. He does a good job of explaining why moving him to the outfield is a bad idea right now.
  • Exhibition games: the Mariners and Padres played to a 5-5 tie yesterday, with Willie Bloomquist helping out with a big hustle play… the team had a rare spring training off-day on Monday.
  • If you are a Baseball Prospectus subscriber, don’t miss Sam Miller’s look back at Kerry Wood‘s 20-strikeout game.
  • Mike Jirschele managed Omaha in the PCL for the last 11 years – a good chunk of his 36-year career in baseball, all of which has occurred in the minor leagues. Until now – he’s a coach for the Kansas City Royals, and ESPN The Magazine has a feature on him (this link might require “Insider” status).
  • Bo Jackson tells Russell Wilson to stick to football.
  • Filling out your basketball bracket based on each school’s top baseball player will lead to an obvious yet controversial winner. It’s fun to look at this bracket, in which a couple of play-in teams make deep runs.
  • The cross-over between spring training and March Madness causes a lot of dual-sport broadcasters to be travelling excessively during this time. Ted Leitner of San Diego State-slash-Padres had his suitcase next to him on press row – and it drew unwanted attention during crunch time.

Rainiers Opening Day is two weeks from tomorrow. Can you believe it?

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