This latest round of stories from Mariners spring training shed some light on a few items of interest for Tacoma Rainiers fans.
First off, it’s beginning to look like the Rainiers are going to be real strong in the middle infield. This is because indications from Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon (link to the news story is down below) reveal that unless there are spring training injuries, either Chris Taylor or Brad Miller will be optioned to Tacoma. One of those two players will be the Mariners starting shortstop, and the other will be in Tacoma playing every day.
The Rainiers already have a promising shortstop inked onto the roster in Ketel Marte. I suppose this means that Marte and Taylor/Miller will be bouncing between second base and shortstop for Tacoma – all in the name of positional flexibility, which the Mariners value. And that will be a good thing for the 2015 Rainiers.
The other potentially Rainiers-related story in the below links is on veteran outfielder Franklin Gutierrez, who is in spring training camp after sitting out all of last year. Gutierrez spent his year away from the game in Miami trying to get healthy, and from the story you can tell that he definitely missed being a part of it.
The story will make you root for Gutierrez. Landing a spot on the Rainiers opening day roster would be a big step forward for him.
- Felix Hernandez threw his first bullpen of the spring.
- Nelson Cruz looked impressive on his first day of camp, Ryan Divish writes.
- Bob Dutton writes that Cruz isn’t worried about hitting homers at Safeco Field.
- Keeping Logan Morrison healthy is very important for the Mariners.
- Rickie Weeks is going to primarily play left field, manager Lloyd McClendon said.
- After sitting out in 2014, Franklin Gutierrez is just happy to get a chance in Mariners spring training camp.
- It looks like the loser of the shortstop battle (Brad Miller vs. Chris Taylor) is ticketed for Tacoma.
- McClendon is currently the only African-American manager in the majors.
- For now, McClendon is trying to manage expectations during spring training. Larry Stone has the story.
- The Seattle Times morning musings from spring training: Friday’s includes outtakes from Mariners photo day, and here is Thursday‘s edition.
- The Mariners don’t have much allotted money to spend on international teenagers this year before they start getting heavily taxed.
- Bad news for former Rainiers outfielder Michael Saunders, who injured his knee on a freak play and is out until the all-star break.
- In the PCL, former Mariners pitcher (for a very brief time) Kevin Jarvis is joining the Nashville Sounds broadcast team.
That light on the horizon is becoming a little bit brighter: the Mariners first exhibition game is on Wednesday.