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February 18, 2010 at 9:19 AM

Cliff Lee to throw bullpen session on Feb. 24

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Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu met with the media moments ago during his team’s first warmup stretch of spring training and said that Cliff Lee will throw his first bullpen session next Wednesday.
That’s slightly ahead of the three-week window given to Lee for his recovery from that foot surgery he had two weeks ago tomorrow. Lee says he’s feeling fine and is anxious to get back out on a mound. He’ll play catch for now.

Erik Bedard will also play catch today. He’s been throwing for a while now, but this will be the first time we’ve seen him.
Everyone is in camp except for pitcher Jesus Colome, still in the Dominican Republic with visa issues, and Yusmeiro Petit, taking care of personal matters in Venezuela. So, no real biggie there. A bit different from last year when outfielder Wladimir Balentien took over a week to get here after his visa got thrown in a washing machine in Venezuela.

Felix Hernandez is going to throw in the first group this morning along with David Aardsma, Brandon League and Ian Snell.
Rob Johnson is going to be limited to start things off for now.
“He’s going to take batting practice, do his throwing program, and we’ll integrate him into the catching stuff as we go along,” Wakamatsu said.
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So, who was the first player out on the field raring to go? That would be 19-year-old catcher Steven Baron, a supplementary round pick (33rd overall) out of Ferguson High School in the Miami area last year.

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Baron looked like a kid attending fantasy camp as he sat in the dugout of Field No. 3 here, nervously twirling a bat. He was born in 1990, the year after Ken Griffey Jr. broke into the majors. That ought to make for some laughs when Griffey gets here.
Baron was actually born on Dec. 7, meaning he’s a young 19 and folks have no trouble remembering his birthday. Being born so close to the new year also meant he often played youth baseball a year ahead of most of his classmates, facing older kids in competition. That continued on until he reached high school and the rest is now history. Baron is in a major league camp when his friends are all finishing up their first years of college right now. But he’s already had some big league exposure.
This past winter, he trained at the University of Miami alongside Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira. They had trainers who knew each other. A-Rod even invited Baron back to his house to work out in a deluxe indoor batting cage he had built a few years ago.
“It had TVs in it, a fridge where you could get drinks, anything you want, really,” Baron said. “He was a really nice guy. A lot of people have said things about him, but he was very good guy dealing with me.”



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