Waiting…

That’s what we’re doing, waiting.

Just two more days until the first exhibition game of spring training. On Wednesday, the Mariners face the Padres in the annual charity game in Peoria. It’s opening day in the Cactus League.

At this time in spring training, the players can’t wait to get into actual games. They’ve only been down there for two weeks, but they’re tired of the no-games practice routine and want to see some action. Which will begin on Wednesday.

We recorded the second episode of “Seattle System Scoop,” the new podcast featuring all five Mariners minor league radio announcers. We got a little off the rails on this one – hey, there is no baseball yet, give us a break – but we do plan to keep on doing it at regular intervals leading up to, and during the season.

You can listen to it right here.

Links:

  • Mariners manager Scott Servais and pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. announced the pitching rotation for the first five exhibition games. James Paxton gets the nod in the Cactus League opener on Wednesday.
  • Servais isn’t planning on bunting much, we learn in this notebook. Also, Mayckol Guaipe is changing uniform numbers.
  • The News Tribune checked in on third baseman Kyle Seager.
  • The paper also has a feature on likely Rainiers centerfielder Boog Powell.
  • Cuban outfielder Guillermo Heredia arrived in Mariners camp. He still has to pass a physical before his signing becomes official.
  • Felix Hernandez had his first bullpen session of the spring. From the story, it sounds like Felix did some offseason studying and is making a very slight mechanical change to try to keep the ball down.
  • Mariners catchers are working on framing pitches to generate more called strikes. Sabermetric studies over the past few years show that catchers can influence balls-and-strikes calls by how they receive the pitch – this is a skill that Mike Zunino has been really good at.
  • The M’s brought a pool table into the clubhouse in Peoria, and Tony Zych is the shark.
  • New Mariners starting pitcher Wade Miley is known to be a fast worker.
  • Reliever Joaquin Benoit needed some time to get his back in shape because “I’m getting old, man.”
  • A good bullpen is the key for a Mariners turnaround, Matt Calkins writes.
  • Abraham, Abraham, Abraham… come on, man. The former Rainiers and current Cleveland Indians outfielder was suspended for 80 games.
  • Checking in on a Rainiers division rival in the PCL, we have a really good story from Andrew Baggarly on new Sacramento manager Jose Alguacil and the Giants losing tradition at the Triple-A level (but it’s an even-numbered year, so the Giants are printing World Series tickets as we speak).

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