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February 28, 2007 at 1:07 PM

Parque back on the mound

Not much of an intrasquad game to tell you about, given that many of the regulars were over on another field taking batting practice. The Mariners #2 squad defeated the #1 squad by a 4-1 score, notching all four runs in the third inning by sending eight batters to the plate against Seattle minor leaguer Jamie “The Perfect Sleeper” Cerda.
About the only thing that interested me was how a couple of starting pitchers would look early on. Jim Parque was taking the mound against professional hitters for the first time since 2004 and he did OK, allowing a ground-ruled double to Rey Ordonez before escaping his one frame unharmed.
Parque retired Jeremy Reed on a ground ball, allowed the double, then got Mike Morse to ground out to shortstop and Willie Bloomquist to line out to first base. More importantly, Parque was getting ahead in the count early and had command of his fastball — working in some curves and change-ups as well. He told me afterwards that he was able to amp up the velocity on his pitches and is feeling stronger as camp progresses.
Miguel Batista looked very sharp on the mound, allowing a grounder up the middle for a base-hit by Adam Jones, but then erasing that on a 5-4-3 double-play by Michael Garciaparra. Batista then ended the inning by getting Tony Torcato to pop out to shallow left, a ball coralled by sprinting shortstop Bloomquist.
We talked a lot in the previous post about “pitching to contact” and that’s exactly what the only two bonafide Seattle starters to have pitched intrasquad, Batitsa and Jeff Weaver, have done so far. The pair have recorded five of their six outs on ground balls and each needed less than 10 pitches to get out of their respective innings. It’s only intrasquad and things get far tougher from here. But it’s a start.
Lowe throwing “at least” a month away
Forget about seeing Mark Lowe start throwing before the end of spring training. Manager Mike Hargrove said this afternoon that Lowe, who returns to camp from Los Angeles today, will need “at least” one month to recover enough from the surgery he had on Tuesday. “Notice I said at least a month,” Hargrove said. “It could be longer.”
Other than that, the surgery went well and the scar tissue plaguing Lowe’s elbow was removed. The Mariners now expect him to be out until the all-star break — that’s mid-July — or longer.

A spring Chick?

Mariners lefty (err…make that righty) pitching prospect Travis Chick, all of 22, may have had a reason for some of the shaky outings turned in as a September call-up last fall. That is, other than the usual jitters a guy called up from Class AA faces. I ran into Chick at the team’s complex today, where he’s preparing for the start of minor league camp, and he told me he had surgery Jan. 9 to remove a bone spur from his right elbow. Chick had felt soreness in the elbow way back in spring training with the Reds a year ago, before his trade to Seattle for closer Eddie Guardado. “They told me it was triceps tendinitis,” Chick said.
But the Mariners opted to take a closer look and found the bone spur.
Chick has thrown a pair of bullpen sessions already and hopes to be ready when minor league pitchers and catchers officially report on March 4.

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