Brendan Ryan and Munenori Kawasaki are quickly becoming two peas in a pod during Mariners workouts in Peoria. Here are some shots of them from today’s workouts.
“Obviously, he’s very energetic as well,” Kawasaki said of Ryan, through interpreter Antony Suzuki. “He’s very close to how I play. And that makes it very comfortable for me to play here with him. You look at his plays and the way he moves and he’s great. He’s got a lot of talent.”
Ryan said of his new teammate: “It’s funny to watch people react to how I see myself. It’s a weird, third-person type of feel. I don’t know how to describe that. It kind of makes you think.”
Infield coach Robby Thompson said “it’s a treat” to have two players with such similar styles and personalities.”
Thompson said he watched Kawasaki turn the double-play pivot at second base for the first time today, taking the throw from third.
“I was real impressed by where he was at,” Thompson said. “He’s got good feet, good hands. He’s athletic. It didn’t surprise me. But I didn’t think he was going to be that good at the pivot today, it being his first time.”
Kawasaki is also fitting in, something he came to camp early in a bid to do. The language barrier still makes some things tough and interpreter Suzuki has to act as a go-between most of the time.
“I’m still battling right now,” he said. “I still don’t feel like I’m there yet, language-wise. It’s a big challenge for me. I don’t feel like I’ve overcome the language barrier just yet.”
Thompson said he planned to visit a bookstore after today’s workouts so he could purchase an English-Japanese book of phrases and communicate better with his new player.
“I think he’s trying to learn a word a day,” Ryan said. “That’s still better than me. I haven’t even touched my Rosetta Stone yet.”