Even though minor league spring training hasn’t officially started yet, Tacoma Rainiers manager Pat Listach has been down in Arizona since day one of Mariners major league spring training, helping out with big league camp.
Listach and Double-A Jackson manager Daren Brown were invited to help with major league camp. This is pretty standard for most organizations: there are so many players in camp, extra coaches are needed. More players means more batting practice to throw, more fungos to hit, more instruction, and more experienced eyes needed to make evaluations.
The Mariners have sixty players in major league camp – more than twice the number who will comprise the opening day roster. Many of the sixty will be on the Rainiers opening day roster, so it makes a lot of sense for Listach to be there.
Listach said that sixty players is far too many to have on one field for batting practice and defensive drills, so they divide them into two groups of thirty. The players split off to either Group A or Group B, and Listach has been put in charge of Group B.
Now that the Cactus League games are underway, the team takes batting practice and infield (along with additional drills) in the morning, then plays the exhibition game at 1:00. Still lots of work for extra coaches.
The first minor league practice game isn’t until March 19th. Usually the Mariners keep the Triple-A manager in major league camp until sometime around the start of the minor league practice games.
By this point, your Triple-A manager has already been working with nearly everyone who will be in Tacoma on April 7. It’s a good way for Listach to learn all of his personnel.
- The Mariners played their first exhibition game of the 2016 season on Wednesday, whitewashing the Padres 7-0. The Times has a photo gallery from the game.
- The undefeated Mariners juggernaut beat the Padres again on Thursday, 6-5. Luis Sardinas made the first statement in the battle for the utility infielder job, driving home four runs in the victory.
- Kudos to Bob Dutton for asking a question I was truly curious about: how does Jesus Montero feel about the Mariners signing all of these first basemen to compete against him for a job? Seems like he is OK with it.
- Ryan Divish took a good look at Nathan Karns, who tossed two scoreless innings yesterday.
- Franklin Gutierrez homered in the Cactus League opener, and he is feeling good. In this notebook, an item on the Mariners new Cuban players who might appear in games for Tacoma this year.
- Here’s an item from the Times on the Mariners signing PCL superstar Efren Navarro.
- I have no idea how these things work, but Korean first baseman Dae-Ho Lee has traveled to Canada in order to get a work visa so he can play baseball in the United States. No explanation here, either.
- USS Mariner’s marc w took a look at the combined prospect rankings of the Mariners farm system, from five different sources.
- “Hey, how are you doing? What’s going on?”… “Oh, I’m fine, nothing happening here except I found seven Ty Cobb cards from 1910 in a paper bag in the attic.” If you are like me and are into these types of stories, you can find a much more detailed version right here.
Have a good weekend, and if you’re cleaning out the attic don’t throw away any paper bags without seeing what is in them.