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

February 26, 2007 at 8:42 AM

Mariners getting some game

After nearly two weeks of standing around — and watching grown men with bats stand around watching grown men throw balls — we’re finally going to see some game action. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until tomorrow at 9 a.m. for that as the Mariners play their first intrasquad game. For those fans planning to show up at the Peoria Sports Complex, here’s the list of pitchers scheduled to throw one inning apiece:
Team A
Jeff Weaver
Sean White
Matt Perisho
Juan Sandoval
Cesar Jimenez
Team B
Cha Seung Baek
Jesse Foppert
Aaron Small
Jorge Campillo
I’ll be there just to see how Juan Sandoval looks throwing with just one working eye. By the way, Sandoval is thrilled with all of you who have personally emailed messages to him. I have his email address and am forwarding your good wishes onward.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The Mariners aren’t placing any undo emphasis on this game at this stage of the spring. But the coaching staff will be keeping an eye out for any player who appears to be laboring or making any glaring mistakes. This is all about getting pitchers some work, not watching to see which hitters clobber one out of the park.
Had a nice chat with Jose Guillen this morning. Anyone who read columnist Jerry Brewer’s fine feature this morning knows the challenges he brings to this squad. But Guillen is feeling very pumped about the status of his arm at this stage. In fact, he swears it feels stronger than it ever has in spring training. I asked him whether this could be like the case of pitchers who undergo Tommy John surgery and see their velocity improve and he agreed wholeheartedly with the theory. He’s been throwing at a 140-foot distance with a trainer during warm-ups and insists he could unload a few from right field at this moment if he has to.
But he understands why the team won’t let him.
“That’s where you can get into trouble,” he said. “When you feel so strong and you try to do too much, too soon.”
So, take that for what it’s worth. We’ll all know the truth soon enough.
Speaking of Guillen, the team has done some negotiating with Cactus League opponents to get him and new DH Jose Vidro as many at-bats as possible during upcoming exhibition games. The San Diego Padres have agreed to allow Seattle to play games with a DH on March 1 and 2, while the San Francisco Giants will do the same on March 4 and 11. The March 4 encounter is a split-squad deal and the Arizona Diamondbacks will also allow the Mariners to use a DH in the other game played that day.
This impacts Guillen because the team will not be using him in the field for the first part of spring games, only in the DH role.
Off to the field. The big session of the day will be bunt defense, which ought to be a hoot in the early stages. Will be keeping on close watch on my personal fave, Sandoval, in this one.



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