The Mariners full squad is now together in spring training, with roughly 60 players battling to make the Mariners 25-man opening day roster.
Today was the first day of “live batting practice” sessions, in which a Mariners pitcher tries to get a Mariners hitter out – but with no defense, no base running, and a batting cage. It’s like a half-imaginary baseball game. We’ve got to ease into these things, you know. Can’t just jump right into 9-vs-9 for nine innings.
Spring training is actually shorter this year. The first exhibition game is only five days away, on Wednesday. There is still a full month’s worth of exhibition games, but the lead-in to the games is several days shorter than in previous years. This is a good thing – pretty much everyone in baseball thinks that spring training is too long.
So starting next week we’ll have reports from actual games. In the meantime, we have more news from the workouts.
- Robinson Cano met with the media and addressed the offseason stories which were floating around.
- Good story from Ryan Divish on what goes into a Mariners pre-spring training physical. Try to avoid the unnecessary video.
- Matt Calkins writes that Nelson Cruz could repeat his fantastic 2015 season.
- New first baseman Dae Ho Lee spoke with the media. At the end of the story we learn that even though he signed a minor league contract, right now Lee is thinking about the big leagues only.
- Baseball made a few rule changes: they cleaned up the slide rules in an attempt to prevent injury to infielders covering second base on double play attempts, and they shaved 20 seconds off the between-innings time at the MLB level. That second part is stunning to me – they gave up commercial time!
- Scott Servais talked a little bit about live batting practice and the new sliding rules.