It has begun.
Mariners pitchers and catchers reported to spring training in Peoria, Arizona today. The 2017 baseball season is upon us.
For the first few days, it will be just pitchers throwing bullpen sessions with catchers. The rest of the team is due to report on Sunday.
Everything in spring training is happening a little earlier this year, because the World Baseball Classic is occurring in March and the participating players need to be ready. Actual Cactus League games start on February 25th – usually they don’t begin until March 1 or 2.
Personally, I’ll be headed to Arizona at the end of March. It’s important for me to go toward the end of camp, when we have a clearer picture of who is going to be on the Rainiers roster. As always, we’ll have daily blog reports during my visit.
In the meantime, you should grab your Rainiers opening weekend tickets tomorrow. If you aren’t a season ticket holder, Wednesday is your opportunity to grab the best seats for the opening homestand – including the home opener on April 11.
Opening homestand tickets go on sale at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, with online sales via TacomaRainiers.com.
Lots of links from the past few days:
- The TNT has a post on Mariners pitcher groups, workout times, and key spring training dates.
- Bob Dutton of The News Tribune released his annual Mariners Top Prospect list, with a detailed article.
- Baseball America released its annual Top 100 Prospects list. Two Mariners appeared: outfielder Kyle Lewis ranked No. 34, and likely Rainiers outfielder Tyler O’Neill comes in at No. 38.
- On the other hand, Baseball Prospectus put out their Top 100 Prospects list with O’Neill at No. 53 and Lewis at No. 70.
- Ryan Divish asks three key questions about the Mariners heading into spring training.
- The Seattle Times spring training preview continued with a report on the Mariners starting pitching, and a look at the Mariners bullpen.
- The TNT’s spring preview moved on to the outfield.
- The Times caught up with manager Scott Servais as he enters his second season as a big league skipper.
- Seattle thinks that new starting pitcher Drew Smyly was a key offseason acquisition.
- Larry Stone is cautiously optimistic about the Mariners.
- Dan Altavilla is no lock to make the Mariners bullpen, Dutton writes. The story includes notes on two minor league relievers the Mariners recently signed who could end up in Tacoma: Brandon Sisk and Josh Judy.
- Former Rainiers and Mariners outfielder Franklin Gutierrez signed as a free agent with the Dodgers.
- John McGrath takes aim at baseball’s latest attempts to improve the pace of play. He had another weekend column about the Mariners improved team speed.
- The ridiculous offseason of ex-Rainiers reliever David Rollins continues. He finally cleared waivers on Monday and will go to spring training with the Cubs.
New post coming Thursday with our final Rainiers spring training positional preview: the relief pitchers.