Mariners Mini Morsels: March 13

The Mariners, at 12-4-1, passed the midway point in their 33-game spring schedule… Right-hander Taijuan Walker is scheduled to throw his first bullpen workout Thursday since his week-long shutdown earlier this month because of bursitis in his shoulder. Source: Bob Dutton at Tacoma News Tribune


For the ninth time this spring, the name at the top of the Mariners order written up by manager Lloyd McClendon on Wednesday was Abraham Almonte. “I like what he brings to the table,” McClendon said. “His numbers don’t show it right now, but he’s made consistent contact, he hasn’t struck out a lot, he brings speed from both sides of the plate. He can bunt, he can run down balls in center. He’s in the mix. I’m not guaranteeing anything, but I like what I see.”

Almonte played all 10 innings of Wednesday night’s 8-7 comeback victory over the Cubs, leading off the 10th with a single and scoring the winning run. He went 1-for-5 with a walk and now has a .133 average through 30 at-bats things spring. Source:John Schlegel at MLB


[Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon] “The old adage was get to the middle relief and you win the game. Well, middle relief now is throwing 97 mph. It’s not like the old days. If you stack them up and get four or five runs off the starter I will take my chances. Whether it is a left or right, for me it’s a factor, but not a major factor. I want to try to win the first seven innings of the game and then I will take my chances with the last three.” Source: Shannon Drayer at My Northwest


“Anybody who is camp, it’s not a reach. You’re here, at this point, for a reason. Because you’ve got a chance. Everybody who is still in this camp still has a chance.” — manager Lloyd McClendon on the 44 players remaining on the camp roster. Source: Bob Dutton at Tacoma News Tribune
“Sometimes when you’re young, you don’t appreciate the fact that the reason a team wants you is because you can be that in-between guy,” Miner said. “I’ve realized I’m not going to be Felix Hernandez as a starter and I’m probably not going to be Fernando Rodney as a closer, but maybe I can be a really good in-between guy. So I just accept that, and try to be as good at that as I can.” Source: John Schlegel at MLB


“I still think we’ve got some quality arms in camp, but nothing’s changed from yesterday or the day before,” McClendon said after Tuesday’s game when asked his thoughts on where the rotation stands. “I can’t tell you my thoughts about the rotation at this particular time. We’ll continue to run them out there and see what happens. If I’m going to do evaluations, it’s only fair to those guys that they’re in ‘A’ games to do that evaluation, not a ‘B’ game, not a Minor League camp game. I think that’s just fair to them,” McClendon said.  Source: John Schlegel at MLB


The Rays and Mets are among the teams that have shown interest, [in Nick Franklin] but the Mets want to see this spring if he can play shortstop. The Rays are said to match up better for the Orlando, Florida product. Source: Jon Heyman at CBS Sports



The new protective caps for pitchers haven’t exactly caught on. Source:Nick Cafardo at the Boston Globe


When Ervin Santana signs, it will give Royals the 28th overall pick. They’ll have four of top 57/58 picks to add to really good farm system. From: Jeff Passan at Yahoo! Sports 


So they said

“Yunel is an energy source for us. We plug into him. We need to market an Esco-Bar, a new energy bar.” From: Joe Maddon at Tampa Bay Rays
 “Obviously, guaranteed money is never a bad thing.” Archie Bradley to Gabe Lacques at USAToday


Mariner’s potential off-season targets

Cubs OF Nate Schierholtz could be available via trade, as a result of Ryan Kalish’s progress. LH bat, unknown if he is a fit for Detroit. From: Jon Morosi at Fox Sports


Alejandro De Aza, OF, White Sox — He is a trade chip for the White Sox, who are getting interest. He’s not exactly everything you want in a center fielder, leadoff type, but last season De Aza hit 17 homers and drove in 62 runs. His career .336 on-base percentage (.323 last season) isn’t that compelling, but for teams looking for a center fielder who brings some varied skills, he’s not a bad option. The Twins have some interest. Source: Nick Cafardo at the Boston Globe


Draft, Prospects & Farm News

The Mariners filled their managerial opening at Triple-A Tacoma by promoting former Major League third baseman Roy Howell from his previous position as hitting coach for Double-A Jackson. Howell, 60, replaces Rich Donnelly, who was brought in as the Mariners’ third-base coach when John Stearns stepped down for health reasons. Source: John Schlegel at MLB


Baseball Best Practice

“A lot of guys have physical ability,” [Marlins] scouting director Stan Meek told me last April, after [Jose] Fernandez’s MLB debut. “But mentally they might not be able to handle the stress, especially at the big league level. When you find those special talents, then see that they can handle things mentally, that’s when it’s time to challenge them.”


By The Numbers

Only two players, Joe Torre and Gene Tenace, have ever played at least 500 career games as both a catcher and a first baseman. Source: Elias Sports Bureau


In 2009, the Orioles Brian Roberts hit 56 doubles, the single-season record by a switch hitter. Source: MLB Play Index


Baseball History

This years new Mariners commercials were all creative and help to humanize some of the players in fans eyes. The Chadwick reference was interesting as I read recently that former President Woodrow Wilson was a big baseball fan and as a young man kept a fantasy team diary (in 1870 when Wilson was 14 years old) which included a box score type of game numbers, which was purportedly written by Chadwick. It was only identified as being by Wilson last year. The story credited Wilson as being the first fantasy team creator. You can read that article here.

Henry Chadwick, who was born in Exeter, England, about an hours drive from where I live, probably had more to do with creating the American game than Abner Doubleday or Albert Spalding (who was responsible for the Doubleday myth) who founded the eponymous sporting goods company. Chadwick’s interesting biography can be found here.


Alumni News

Yankees shortstop Brendan Ryan, who hasn’t played since last Tuesday because of lower back soreness, could be making some progress. [Yankees manger Joe] Girardi is hoping that Ryan will be able to take some dry swings on Tuesday, then move on to “tee and toss” on Wednesday. Source: Andrew Simon at


Going into last season, [Brandon] League was signed for three years to be the Dodgers’ closer at a whopping $22.2 million. And he went bust. He lost his closers’ job to [Kenley] Jansen by early June and finished the season with a 5.30 earned-run average and a 1.55 walks plus hits per inning pitched. League showed some signs of getting it back together in the final month (3.68 ERA), but now this spring, with a bullpen overflowing with options, he is again looking lost.

And still owed $17 million over the next two years. Source:Steve Dilbeck at the LA Times