Mariners Mini Morsels: March 6

Russell Wilson’s Rangers jersey among top sellers: Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is coming off a Super Bowl championship. We know that. He was also selected by the Rangers in MLB’s Rule 5 draft this past December and has been hanging around their camp this past week. He’ll almost certainly never even play for the Rangers in the minors, much less have any sort of tangible impact on the big-league club. We know that, too. Still, his Rangers jersey has been one of the top selling MLB jerseys online since becoming available on Fanatics.com this past Monday, according to the site.

Source: Matt Snyder at CBS Sports (Click the title to view images.)

 

Zunino laced two doubles in Tuesday’s 4-1 win over the Dodgers, giving him four hits — including three doubles — in his first seven at-bats this spring. “He’s been working on his trigger all spring and it just goes to show you what kind of talent he has,” McClendon said. “I think he’s in the process of putting it all together and he should be an enjoyable young man to watch this summer.”

“It’s just having your hands and body in a completely loaded position,” [Zunino] said. “I wasn’t quite getting all the way back there when I first got in camp and even last year. So I think just being able to get my hands all the way back is allowing me to free up my swing a little bit and it gives me more time to recognize pitches. Source: Greg Johns at MLB

 

McClendon on Almonte as M’s leadoff hitter: “He just needs to continue to play well. He’s doing a nice job for us in the leadoff spot. He’s shown some power. Has speed. He can take a walk. He’s making an effort to get some bunts in.” From:  Bob Dutton at Tacoma News Tribune

 

Facing largely a second-unit Indians lineup, [James] Paxton gave up a first-inning single to Ryan Raburn and a leadoff double in the second to Matt Carson, but otherwise kept Cleveland off balance. Eight of his nine outs never left the infield, including groundouts by the last five batters he faced.

“I just continued working on fastball command and moving in and out,” Paxton said. “I threw some more curveballs today. They were feeling good. The first inning I left a few up, but I got on top of some and was feeling good. I was working on the changeup today and threw a few of those I was happy with. And the cutter, I left one up in the first inning, and then threw a few others that felt pretty good. So my stuff is coming along.” Source: Greg Johns at MLB

 

The latest odds from Bovada, the online gaming service, peg the Mariners as a 7-1 shot to win the American League West Division. Source: Bob Dutton at Tacoma News Tribune
Stephen Pryor threw his fourth bullpen session of the spring Tuesday and said he felt great Wednesday morning, but he knows he needs to keep listening to the doctors and trainers who caution him against firing full out and are preventing him from facing live hitters as he works his way back from a near full season on the disabled list in 2013

He threw 30 pitches Tuesday, including eight breaking balls for the first time, and said he was working at about 80-85 percent of his normal capacity. He hopes to keep ratcheting that effort level up in coming sessions, with the next one slated for sometime this weekend. “I feel good right now,” he said. “I know it’ll be a little different with a hitter in the box and adrenaline and stuff. I’m anxious to see how I’ll feel from that standpoint.”

Pryor, 24, was a big part of Seattle’s bullpen plans a year ago, but injured his shoulder after seven scoreless appearances in the first few weeks of April. The Mariners would love to have him back in the mix as soon as possible this season, but know patience is required. Source: Greg Johns at MLB

Colin O’Keefe at Lookout Landing has done a nice profile of an M’s prospect many may not be familiar with but maybe should in Get to know Mariners outfielder James Jones. A nice job with GIFs and an interview.

 

…an improved bullpen looms as one of bigger keys if the Mariners are to shed their status as a speed bag for contenders.

A look back at the 2013 numbers remains chilling. There were 13 walk-off losses, 27 defeats when opponents scored the winning run in their last at-bat and 15 losses in extra innings. And worse, it’s not just last year. The Mariners amassed 47 walk-off losses since 2010. No other club in either league has more than 37. Source: Bob Dutton at Tacoma News Tribune

 

Mike Axisa at CBS Sports offers his opinion on 2014 Mariners preview: Likes, dislikes. (Click the article title for the details.)  The short version is he likes the infield, except for Smoak and the late inning bullpen. He doesn’t care for the rotation depth or the outfield, especially the defense. Does that qualify as news?

Axisa also offers his selection of over/under numbers for the Mariners this season, which are:

Wins: 76.5; Place in AL West: 3.5; Robinson Cano‘s home runs: 26.5: Dustin Ackley‘s OPS+: 99.5; Combined games in the outfield, Corey Hart and Logan Morrison: 199.5; Felix Hernandez‘s strikeouts: 224.5; Combined wins, Taijuan Walker and James Paxton: 19.5; Scott Baker’s starts: 14.5; Date of Hisashi Iwakuma’s first start (finger strain) : May 1st;  Date of Nick Franklin trade: July 31st

 

By The Numbers

The pitcher with the most wins in the NL since 2006 is Bronson Arroyo with 105. From: The Bill Chuck Files

 

Alumni News

Joe Saunders gets 500K. Goes to 1.5M plus bonuses if he makes the team. From: Jon Heyman at CBS Sports

 

Chat Review –  Dave Cameron at FanGraphs

Comment From Alex: Should the Tigers explore a trade for Andre Ethier given the loss of Andy Dirks for 12 weeks?

Dave Cameron: It would seem to make sense, but I bet they go lower tier. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Mariners traded Michael Saunders in the next few weeks, and he’s a pretty similar player to Dirks. 

 

Comment From spclxk: Is it reasonable to assume that Ervin Santana’s value is depreciating as he continues to remain unsigned throughout spring training?

Dave Cameron: Yes, his value is diminishing as it becomes less and less likely that he’d be able to join a rotation on Opening Day. That said, his agent’s argument will be that his cost is also increasing because there will be a spike in demand once injuries start occurring and he remains the only viable option on the market in April and May.

 

Comment From Milton Bradley: Do you think the TV money bubble is going to burst for everyone or just the small market teams?

Dave Cameron: I don’t know that I see a burst bubble scenario, realistically. If Cable companies stop making huge TV rights offers to try and save their business model, MLBAM could simply step in and offer to take over and turn MLB.tv into an in-market retail product. This is where MLB.tv is headed eventually, and it provides a really nice safety net in case cable companies eventually die off.

 

Comment From jocephus: how quickly do you tire of spring training?

Dave Cameron: I find no real value in it anymore.

 

Comment From Chris206: Dustin Ackley *looks* better this spring. With how much we hear about his confidence at the plate, do you think this may be a case where a good spring is more important than for most?

Dave Cameron: It doesn’t matter.

Comment From Joe: Thy NY Post says the Mariners are looking at David Phelps. What is a fair return going to the Yankees?

Dave Cameron: If the Mariners and Yankees make a trade, Nick Franklin will be in it.