Spring training exhibition games started late last week, and we have actual baseball results to look at. Opening day is getting closer.
Speaking of opening day, tickets for the Tacoma Rainiers home opener and the remainder of the first homestand went on sale over the weekend. The Rainiers start the season on the road, so Opening Night at Cheney Stadium will be on Tuesday, April 9 and the first homestand is a seven-gamer running through the following weekend. Act early to get the best seats for the opening week – you can get tickets online (click on the ‘T’), or visit the Cheney Stadium box office during normal business hours.
One player we are hoping to see in a Rainiers uniform during the opening homestand is infielder Shed Long, who was the story of the first weekend of Mariners spring training games. He had multiple hits, with a homer, and even had a couple of doubles “cancelled” during a game that was rained out in the second inning.
For all of the details on spring training so far, check the links down below. Later this week we’ll have a look at the pitchers battling for spots in the Tacoma Rainiers starting rotation – planning to post that on Thursday afternoon.
- The Mariners spring training opener on Thursday got wiped out by rain in the second inning. However, the M’s scored five runs before the rain came, with Shed Long knocking a pair of doubles… the M’s won their first full game of the spring on Friday, defeating Oakland 8-1. Potential Rainiers infielder Tim Lopes went 3-for-3 in the win… Shed Long hit a, um, long home run in the Felix game on Saturday… Long came back with a game-winning RBI single on Sunday against the Rockies.
- Felix Hernandez made his spring debut on Saturday, trying things like working exclusively from the stretch. Results were uncertain.
- Top prospect and anticipated Rainiers starter (more on this Thursday) Justus Sheffield made his spring debut, delivering a pair of scoreless innings on Sunday. Ryan Divish has the story with reaction from Sheffield and his teammates.
- The Seattle Times caught up with outfielder Braden Bishop, who we expect to be with Tacoma this year. However, the story notes that the Mariners lack of outfield depth could mean an opportunity for Bishop to make the big league team. Seems like the M’s could really use an experienced Triple-A outfielder.
- Greg Johns brings us some details on the unusual walk-up routine of outfielder Eric Filia, who made our list of possible Tacoma Rainiers outfielders last week.
- Larry Stone has a story on new Mariners coach Perry Hill, who is one of the most renowned infield instructors in the sport.
- Stone also gets us caught up on where the Mariners rebuild stands at the moment.
- Mariners closer candidate Hunter Strickland is looking to hit the reset button on his career, which includes several memorable moments in which he lost his cool.
- Seattle promoted Joe Bohringer to Assistant General Manager, filling the spot that was vacated several months ago when longtime employee Jeff Kingston was hired away by the L.A. Dodgers.
- An ESPN article on unexpected breakouts that could help their teams make a push for the playoffs includes… a Mariner? It’s true.
- Baseball America took an early shot at projecting the ten most prospect-loaded minor league teams at the start of the season, and two PCL clubs made the list, including Rainiers home opener opponent El Paso.