Congratulations – you made it to the first day of spring training!
Seattle Mariners pitchers and catchers reported today. This includes just about all of the pitchers and catchers we’ll see in Tacoma on April 7.
Today is a day of physical exams, lots of stretching, and a few throwing sessions.
I’m not in Arizona (and won’t be until late March), but fortunately some reporters are already there. Let’s check out their pics:
Here’s TNT reporter Bob Dutton with a shot of the skinnier James Paxton.
Dutton himself is rounding into spring form, as indicated by his use of the word “limbering.”
Next up is Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times, with a shot of Danny Hultzen during a bullpen session. It’s good to see that Hultzen is on a regular program to start camp – what a lift it would be for both Danny and the organization if he had a healthy year.
Of course, some players have earned the ability to arrive at spring training in style.
It’s a new season – I can’t wait!
The first day of spring training came with some sad news: word got out that former major league infielder/outfielder Tony Phillips passed away from an apparent heart attack, at age 56.
Phillips was a multi-positionalist similar to Mark McLemore with the early-2000s Mariners, and current day Ben Zobrist.
He played in many games for the Tacoma Tigers, first on his way up to the big leagues (he broke in with the Oakland A’s), and later on some rehab assignments. Phillips appeared in 133 games for Tacoma, scattered across five seasons: 1981-1982, 1985, and 1987-1988.
Phillips was on the Oakland A’s 1989 World Series championship team. That squad has suffered some tough losses lately, with Phillips, Dave Henderson, and Bob Welch all having passed away.
Phillips had an 18-year major league career, collecting 2,023 hits.
- Divish writes that introductions will be necessary at the first day of Mariners spring training.
- Hmmmm. Looks like we might not see Dae-Ho Lee if he doesn’t make the Mariners roster. Signed to a minor league deal, the Korean slugger has an option to get out if his contract at the end of March, Dutton reports. We should add that these things can be re-negotiated when the time comes – but he’ll have the ability to look at other teams if he’s not making the Mariners.
- The Seattle Times spring training position previews wrapped up with a look at the Mariners starting pitchers.
- The News Tribune’s previews continued with starting pitchers and relievers.
- At USS Mariner, marc w tried to project what Nelson Cruz will do this year. He gave up. It’s fun when the smartest guy in the room concludes with “I have no idea what’s coming, and have simply decided that that’s kind of awesome'”
- Here is the news story on the death of Tony Phillips.
- Tacoma’s Bellarmine Prep inducted Chicago Cubs pitcher Jon Lester into its Hall of Fame, and he spoke at the ceremony.
- Jayson Stark has ten compelling stories around baseball as we head into spring training. This is a good big-picture primer.
- In the PCL, looks like we might have a player named Bubba in the league this year. The Rainiers host Omaha May 14-17, and I can picture it now: “Boog, meet Bubba. Bubba, this is Boog.”
Have a great weekend, and we’ll be back with a new post on Monday rounding up news from the first weekend of Mariners camp.