Mariners exhibition games are in a daily rhythm now, and the M’s crack PR team makes sure I get a box score in my inbox shortly after each one.
Let’s take a look at the M’s games from the weekend, and see how some potential Rainiers players did in the games.
Friday – Brewers 5, Mariners 2
Possible Rainiers left fielder Mike Baxter was the story in this one, hitting a two-run homer off Brewers RH reliever Jim Miller. It was the M’s only extra-base hit of the game. Possible Rainiers catcher Steve Baron and third baseman Ed Lucas each hit singles.
On the pitching side, Cody Martin delivered two scoreless innings of one-hit ball in a relief role (although I think he’ll be a starter if he is in Tacoma). Lefthander Paul Fry chipped in with a scoreless frame.
Saturday – Angels 9, Mariners 7
Chris Taylor – who does have a decent chance to make the M’s roster – had a single and a walk in two plate appearances. Tyler Smith played third base and went 1-for-2. Daniel Robertson started in left field and went 1-for-2, hitting his second double of the spring.
Saturday wasn’t a good day for the bullpen, which allowed a lot of hits and walks.
Sunday – Mariners 7, Rangers 3
All three of the players battling for the Mariners utility infielder spot had a good game. Remember, it’s likely two of these three players will end up with the Rainiers. Luis Sardinas continued his hot start with two hits, including a double, a stolen base, and two runs scored. Chris Taylor was 1-for-2 with a steal and an RBI single. Shawn O’Malley went 2-for-3, stole two bases, and scored two runs.
The team mostly used major league pitchers on Sunday, although Paul Fry and Blake Parker each delivered a scoreless inning from the bullpen. Parker is an interesting player if healthy – he’s dominated the PCL previously while with Iowa.
The Rainiers front office tried to put a bored Rhubarb The Reindeer to work during the offseason. Results were, well… you’ll see.
- Bob Dutton of The News Tribune took a stab at predicting Tacoma’s opening night roster.
- Larry Stone has a column on likely Rainiers center fielder Boog Powell, a “prospect with upside.”
- The Mariners lost to Milwaukee on Friday, although possible Rainiers OF/1B Mike Baxter hit a two-run homer and made a nice catch. The Angels got the M’s on Saturday, although Robinson Cano homered. Seattle stole six bases against the Rangers on Sunday.
- Felix Hernandez – who is intentionally on a slower build-up due to all of the innings he typically throws during the regular season – threw live batting practice on Friday. Class-A outfielder Tyler O’Neill took him deep!
- Danny Hultzen had a successful bullpen session on Saturday and is about ready to pitch in a spring game.
- Some relief pitchers in the mix to make the Mariners roster are battling injuries.
- Chris Taylor is working to add third base to his list of positions which he can play well (he’s already good at shortstop and second base). It’s all about flexibility.
- Manager Scott Servais said that the Mariners are going to continue to use defensive shifts this year.
- Robinson Cano compared Nori Aoki to Johnny Damon.
- Mike Montgomery is the forgotten candidate to make the Mariners starting rotation.
- John McGrath has a column on the Mariners clubhouse culture.
- Jamie Moyer is a guest instructor at Mariners camp this week.
- In the PCL, the San Francisco Giants and Sacramento River Cats extended their Player Development Contract through 2020.
- Dan “The Great Pumpkin” Johnson enters 2016 as the minor league’s active career home run leader, with 254. But he’s playing this year as a knuckleball pitcher.
We are exactly one month from Opening Day! Get your Rainiers opening weekend tickets right here.