Greetings from Peoria, Ariz., where we have a typically beautiful spring training morning full of sunshine and neither too much heat nor cold.
In the photo above, you can see members of the Japanese media contingent — out in force today — watching infielder Munenori Kawasaki take some batting practice in the indoor cage. Nearby, Justin Smoak was doing the same thing with Dustin Ackley soft-tossing to him.
By now, you can probably guess that there are plenty of Mariners position players here early. Today is the day when pitchers and catchers have to report for physicals, then take the field tomorrow.
The rest of the team isn’t due here until next Friday, with the first full squad workout not until a week from today. Remember as well that the Mariners are beginning spring training a full week ahead of everybody else, given that they have a late-March trip to Japan to officially open the 2012 season.
But even the A’s — also going to Japan — aren’t opening camp early. So, that means these young position players are truly getting a headstart on everybody else.
Who else is here early?
Well, there’s Mike Carp and Kyle Seager. Jesus Montero is here as well, given that he’s a catcher. Brendan Ryan is here, too.
So, right there, that’s pretty much every young guy expected to have a role on this year’s team.
Was this a result of their meeting in Seattle a couple of weeks ago with manager Eric Wedge? Not a bad guess. We get a few guys here early every year, but never so many guys expected to have regular roles.
The M’s have plenty of work to do this year. Good to see that the bulk of them appear to have gotten the message and are taking it seriously.