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We told you earlier that today had plenty to do with the pitchers and manager Don Wakamatsu more or less confirmed that after today’s 5-2 win by the “Home” team in today’s intrasquad game. Wakamatsu was careful to single out Ian Snell as one of the better arms out there, adding that he looked confident and in control.
“We talked about it even last year, we were kind of excited about the fact that he could go through a spring training with us,” Wakamatsu said. “Some of the guys who came in last year, even though they got comfortable with us, there were some things that we needed to work on. To throw him in the fire last year and to come over, even though he was 5-2 and pitched pretty good for us, there were some things…we talked about juggling the rotation a little bit and watching today, it gives us the confidence that we might be able to do something like that.”
Snell had a 1-2-3 first inning, retiring Michael Saunders on a flyout, getting Ryan Langerhans to ground out to second and then striking out Ryan Garko, as seen in the photo above.
Wakamatsu also praised the work by pitchers Mark Lowe, Jason Vargas, Brandon League, Rickey Orta, Nick Hill and Mauricio Robles, the guy we profiled for you in today’s paper.
Robles closed out the game (as seen in the video above), getting Chris Woodward on a flyout, then striking out minor leaguers James Jones and Nick Franklin. The team’s brass was watching him closely and came away impressed by how the ball was leaving his hand. A good day in what was his first action against live batters in a major league camp.
Jack Wilson made a pair of nice glove plays, as did Dustin Ackley, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter for Chone Figgins and went on to play second.
“This guy hasn’t played much professional baseball,” Wakamatsu said of Ackley, “but he still look polished.”
It was a 2-2 game in the sixth when the home side scored three off Dan Cortes, on four hits, to break things open.
Jose Lopez went 2-for-2 with a double and didn’t commit any fielding gaffes at third base.
Jack Wilson was also 2-for-2 with a double and scored a pair of runs.
Greg Halman had a pinch-hit triple in a losing cause.
Some more news for you, the Mariners have signed onetime Rangers reliever Wes Littleton to a minor league deal. He’ll compete for a bullpen spot in camp. I saw Littleton walk through the clubhouse on the way to a tryout yesterday as I was interviewing catcher Guillermo Quiroz.
The pair were once teammates in Texas — which released Littleton last week — and paused to say hello to each other.
Seattle will play a five-inning intrasquad game tomorrow. Ken Griffey Jr. (who drew a walk in his only plate appearance today) and Mike Sweeney (0-for-1 with a walk today) will be leading a workout of non-playing players on an adjacent field.
“We’re going to give them a stopwatch, I’ll give them a cart and a fungo (bat) and see what happens,” Wakamatsu joked.