Mariners Mini Morsels: March 5

“I’m not real happy, but I think I threw pretty good,” said Hernandez, who allowed a double to Yasiel Puig and a single to Juan Uribe. “But my changeup wasn’t working. I threw it a lot of times and it was garbage.” Source: Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports

 

“I think it’s good when you can bring kids over from the Minor League camp and give them a shot in the arm,” McClendon said. “It’s good for the organization and he’s a talented young man [Ketel Marte] that deserves an opportunity to get a look. I wouldn’t read too much into it, but I think it’s good for the organization when you can do that.” McClendon said he’s been impressed by all the youngsters he’s dealt with from the farm system. “It’s very refreshing,” he said. “I think it speaks volumes about our organization as a whole and what we’ve got coming.”

Another young infielder who has caught the manager’s eye is shortstop Chris Taylor, who is in Major League camp and ripped a grand slam in Monday’s 6-5 victory over the Reds. Taylor was the Mariners’ Minor League Player of the Year last year and is a strong defender. “He’s very polished young man,” McClendon said. “I would say he’s high on the list and he hasn’t disappointed in Spring Training. He’s a pretty solid young kid, and I like what I see.” Source: Greg Johns at MLB

 

Chris Taylor with a nice sliding stop on a ball up the middle, and fires to first for the out. He’s been impressive this spring. From: Ryan Divish at the Seattle Times

 

Hector Noesi threw two strong innings with just one hit in Tuesday’s 4-1 win over the Dodgers and now has allowed just one hit and no runs in 3 2/3 frames. “He’s been good his last two outings,” McClendon said. “He’s thrown the ball extremely well. His challenge is to make it tough on the decisions we have to make. He’s going about his business the right way and is doing a nice job.” Source: Greg Johns at MLB

 

The Mariners (6-1) as a team are second in the majors with a .295 average. They rank 5th in OBP at .357 and second in SLG at .478. The pitching staff is first in ERA at 1.80, first in WHIP at 1.05 and opponents are batting .215 against them, 4th-best in the majors so far. Source: Dan Hughes at Sodo Mojo

 

Sometimes it’s like, well, this could just be early bloomers or whatever,'” Ackley said. “But I feel great. Even in live batting practice when I wasn’t doing so good at the start, I still felt like I was seeing the ball great, recognizing pitches. I think that’s the most important part. If you’re seeing the ball right and swinging at good pitches and making good contact, I think that’s right where I want to be. I’m letting the ball get deep, I’m hitting the pitches where they need to be hit,” he said. “That’s as good a sign as I need right now. I didn’t expect to be this far along, but I’m excited about it and am just going to try to keep it going.” Source: Greg Johns at MLB

 

AL West Commentary

On each of the five occasions the Rangers have won the American League West, they’ve had at least two workhorse starting pitchers provide at least 200 innings. And now for the rather complex question about 2014: Who can they count on for that kind of workload this year? “I don’t know,” manager Ron Washington said. “I don’t think I can answer that question right now.”

Derek Holland led the staff in innings with 213 last season. Because of January knee surgery, the Rangers will be fortunate if he comes within 100 of that in 2014. Yu Darvish pitched 209 innings last year and, as staff ace, he should be counted on for 200 or more. But he ended the season with a fatigued and sore back; a condition that often becomes chronic.

Speaking of backs, Matt Harrison pitched 213 innings in 2012. His back gave out just two starts into the 2013 season. Colby Lewis is the last Ranger to reach 200 innings in consecutive seasons — 2010-11, but then body parts started falling off. Both could pitch for the Rangers this year, but, coming off injuries, neither is expected to reach 200 innings.

Alexi Ogando? He pitched 167 innings in the rotation in 2011, but has only 170 total innings and four DL stints since. He’s probably best fitted for the bullpen, though the epidemic of injuries probably forces the Rangers to include him in the opening day rotation. All of this leads straight to Martin Perez, who made his spring debut Saturday against Oakland by allowing a run in two innings of work. Perez would seem an unlikely candidate, though. He is the youngest of the pitchers (he turns 23 a week into the season) on the staff. He has barely one year’s worth of big league experience and just 26 total starts. Source: Evan Grant at the Dallas Morning News

 

So they said

“I’m trying to see if [Hernandez] can go Opening Day, the second day and the third day,” McClendon said, tongue firmly in cheek. Source: Tracy Ringolsby at MLB.com

 

When told that people said he appears to be skinnier than last year, Felix replied, “I look pretty good. I’m trying to look good, ya know.” From: Ryan Divish at the Seattle Times

 

Baseball Best Practice

Under new replay rules, managers are allowed to challenge one call a game — force plays, whether a tag was applied, etc. — so Ausmus thinks mangers will get creative in delaying the game to give umpires time to consider reviewing a play without the challenge. He also said some managers might take more frequent visits to the field — as politely as possible, of course. “There is nothing that says you can’t try to convince them to get together (and look at a replay) before you challenge it,” Ausmus said. The idea is to get the umpire to review the play without officially using your challenge. (MLB rules say that if your first challenge is successful, you get one more for the game, but no more than two total.) “I’m sure there are ways to circumvent the system a little bit,” he said. On the other hand, too much gamesmanship could be costly. “They’ve made it clear that if you are flagrantly trying to delay the game, there are penalties,” Ausmus said. Source: Shawn Windsor at Detroit Free Press

 

By The Numbers

The 1987 Reds are the lone 100+ home run and 100+ stolen base outfield in MLB history. From: MLB Play Index

 

Since 2006, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Matt Holliday, Nick Swisher, and David Ortiz have hit 22-plus homers each season. From: The Bill Chuck Files

 

Derek Jeter was the designated hitter and went 0-for-2. He is 0-for-9 and grounded into three double plays. Source: George A. King III at the New York Post

 

Alumni News

Free-agent left-hander Joe Saunders, who beat the Rangers in the 2012 wild-card game while with Baltimore, has agreed to a deal according to two baseball officials and will join the pool of rotation candidates if he passes a physical. Saunders accepted a one-year, non-guaranteed contract. The arrangement is similar to the deal the Rangers have with right-hander Tommy Hanson. Saunders, 32, was 11-16 with a 5.26 ERA with Seattle last season. It was the second-highest ERA among the 81 major league qualifiers. Saunders is 2-7 with a 7.77 ERA and 14 homers allowed in 482/3 innings for nine career starts at Globe Life Park (aka Rangers Ballpark in Arlington). Source: Evan Grant at the Dallas Morning News

 

Chat Review – Steve Adams at MLB Trade Rumors

Comment From Prich: K. Morales prediction..?

Steve Adams: Seattle or Baltimore, and I lean toward Seattle at this point.

 

Comment From Roadbeef: What will prove to be the worst move of the 2013/14 offseason?

Steve Adams: Long-term, it’s easy to say that Cano won’t be worth his deal in the final few seasons. Elsewhere, I think the Phillies got a great value for AJ Burnett but don’t think he really made any sense for that team. Still don’t like the Fister trade for Detroit, but let’s not open up that can of worms back-to-back weeks.

 

Comment From BobMarley22: Bounce back year for Pujols?

Steve Adams: Yeah I think so. I mean not to his age-27 heyday or anything, but if he’s healthy he’s still a dangerous hitter. His numbers from May forward in his first season with Anaheim were outstanding.

 

Comment From Jack Z: Will I be out of work after the season?

Steve Adams: Let’s see if they make any more moves late in Spring and then see how the Mariners fare in 2014. He’s definitely on the lower end of the job security spectrum though, I’d say

 

Comment From Mariners Fan: What’s a reasonable contract for Morales at this point?

Steve Adams: If I’m Morales, I’d be pleased just to match the qualifying offer or beat it a bit on a two-year deal with a lower AAV. I don’t see how they look at 2/20 and turn that down. Who’s going to give more?

 

Comment From Ryan: Thoughts on Brad Miller? floor of .280, 15 homers, 15 steals, 65 ribbies and 75 runs?

Steve Adams: That’s not his floor by any means, but it’s a possibility. He’s a nice young hitter, but I’d call what you just suggested closer to his ceiling than his floor

 

Comment From Jack Zduriencik: With Cano’s concerns, do I sign Morales and Santana?

Steve Adams: I don’t think Cano’s comments will push him over the edge to sign either. If one of the two lowers his asking price, I think Seattle can get him.