We’ve got a weekend of spring training under our belts, baseball is in the air, and the stories are starting to flow.
Pitchers and catchers reported to camps around Florida and Arizona last week, with the Mariners starting on Friday. Mariners position players are required to report tomorrow.
So far, so good from M’s camp. James Paxton has a stiff wrist and won’t throw for a few days – there’s your injury update.
That’s the bad news – things could be a lot worse, you know. Just across the desert in Glendale, the Chicago White Sox are having a scorpion problem. Yikes!
We have lots of news stories from the weekend, so let’s get to them.
- For the second straight year, the first story out of Mariners spring training involved Jesus Montero. This time it’s good news. Ryan Divish talked to Montero and strength & conditioning coach James Clifford. Here’s a picture of “Flaco” Montero.
- The Mariners made the Joe Saunders signing official. It’s a minor league deal, and they are looking at him as a reliever. At this point we don’t know if the long-time major leaguer would be willing to come to Tacoma if he doesn’t make the Mariners.
- Bob Dutton has ten questions entering Mariners spring training, and also takes a look at the AL West.
- Dutton took a look at catcher Mike Zunino, who said he is going to try to hit towards right-center more often this year.
- The Mariners reacted to the new rules in MLB to speed up games. As expected, the players don’t like ’em.
- We have a feature on Mariners No. 2 starter Hisashi Iwakuma.
- Some Monday Morning Mariners musings.
- Roenis Elias is excited about the changing politics of the relationship between the USA and his native Cuba.
- Grantland’s Jonah Keri really summed up the Mariners preseason question: they have the superstars, but has the support system improved enough to make this a playoff team?
- Larry Stone is giddy about going to spring training on Wednesday, so he shared a few of his favorite moments.
- John McGrath has a fun column on the lost art of stealing home. Or is it a re-emerging art? The last time I called a straight steal of home was in 2000, when Charles Gipson did it for the Rainiers.*
- Former Rainiers and Mariners catcher Ben Davis has joined the Philadelphia Phillies broadcast team.
- For the movie buffs, Jim Caple has a list of the ten best baseball scenes in non-baseball movies.
- In the PCL, Iowa Cubs general manager Sam Bernabe is preparing to install pitch clocks at Principal Park.
- Big news over in the International League, where the Pawtucket Red Sox were sold and are trying to move to a new stadium in Providence.
Check back on Wednesday for a new update.
* just did a search and apparently I’ve never written about the time Gipson stole home. We’ll have to get to that soon!