A shot of the Mariners’ spring training facility in Peoria, Ariz. this afternoon. Kenji Johjima had already left by the time my plane touched down. But I ran into manager Don Wakamatsu in the parking lot. He’s aware of some of the feelings generated by his comments that Johjima would be his No. 1 catcher when he arrives in camp after the World Baseball Classic is done.
He wanted to clarify a few things today.
“Nobody’s saying he’s guaranteed anything,” Wakamatsu told me. “We’ll just have to see how it plays out.”
In other words, it’s Johjima’s job to lose. And if he plays the way he did last year, he could very well lose it. But Jeff Clement, as I mentioned earlier, still has his own things to prove this spring. An OPS in the .650 range, while much better than Johjima put up last year, is still not enough to win anybody a major league job — let alone someone just breaking into the majors. Clement also has to start throwing some runners out from behind the plate and is still learning how to call games in the majors.
If Clement shows improvement in those areas, as I said, this battle with Johjima could become very interesting.
Speaking of which, we’ve got a new blog feature we’re going to unveil tomorrow at about 11 a.m. Pacific time that I hope you will all find very interesting. Might change a lot of the interaction between us. So please, mark that time down and be sure to log on.
February 11, 2009 at 6:54 PM