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Mariners blog

Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

February 20, 2007 at 9:24 AM

Finally, some action

Nice to see somebody other than pitchers, catchers and early-birds out there doing drills on what has turned into a fine Tuesday morning. The sun came out just in time to greet the players for their first, full-squad workout of the spring. Manager Mike Hargrove kept the players behind closed-doors, delivering his camp-opening talk, until just before they took the field for a 9:30 a.m. team stretch.
The first workout for regulars was taking ground balls on the main field and, as you would expect, there was some rust. There was Jose Vidro, beginning his career as a DH, working out at second and third base. The grounders Vidro is taking at second are because regular 2B Jose Lopez is going to miss the early part of spring games as he recovers from his ankle sprain. Vidro promptly let one of the first grounders scoot under his glove and into the outfield. To be fair, though, even Adrian Beltre, normally surehanded at third, let one routine grounder hop by him. Beltre even slammed his glove in mock frustration and took a ribbing from a clubhouse attendant riding by in a golf cart. Not worth judging anything this early on. Just painting a picture.
Interesting to see the catchers work out in the bullpen area, where they crouched in front of a pitching machine and worked on the targets they present to pitchers with their mitts. The Mariners felt they didn’t get all the strike calls they should have from umpires last season and are placing increased emphasis on how catchers go about setting up and presenting their targets. Coaches were careful to scrutinize things like mitt placement, making sure it wasn’t partially screening the signs being delivered to pitchers. All very interesting stuff we rarely get a chance to see once the season starts.
Looks like Mark Lowe was a tad optimistic about his chances of being cleared to begin soft throwing. Dr. Lewis Yocum wants a magnetic resonance imaging exam done on his surgically repaired arm before issuing any clearance. The Mariners have yet to confirm the exact time and place, but we’ll keep you posted. Theoretically, Lowe had expected to be allowed to throw in about a week, so if the MRI is done soon, that could happen. Still, it sounds like a slight setback.
And yes, Ichiro was out there as well, getting dozens of photographs snapped by Japanese media every time he threw a ball to Raul Ibanez during their pitch-and-catch warmup. Ah, spring! Supposed to be some live BP thrown by pitchers in about a half-hour. We’ll see if any of the hitters take some cuts.

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