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Updated 12:39 p.m. — I kind of forgot today was Valentine’s Day. Of course, that really isn’t a problem for me.
The morning workout was pretty typical. There was a minor injury as Mark Rogers uncorked a wayward fastball during his bullpen session that shorthopped off the ground hit Jesus Sucre in the left ankle. It looked pretty painful. Sucre wasn’t able to finish catching the bullpen.
“I think he’s okay,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “These little nicks and bangs happen during spring training. Let’s hope he’s okay.”
Catcher Manny Pina has arrived in Peoria and will take his physical tomorrow and participate in the workout. Reliever Ramon Ramirez is still having visa issues and has not made it into the U.S. yet.
Of the position players – Robinson Cano and Abraham Almonte, who are working out at the Mariners facility in the Dominican Republic, Nick Franklin, Dustin Ackley, Gabe Noriega, Carlos Triunfel and Endy Chavez are not here.
Here’s some video of Zach Miner, Brandon Maurer, James Paxton and Randy Wolf throwing in bullpen.
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From earlier this morning ….
It’s been a pretty quiet morning so far. But as we saw yesterday things can change quickly. Above is some B-roll footage that the Mariners provided of yesterday’s first workout. I will try to get some of my own shaky, out of focus, avant garde video of workouts up today.
The morning meeting with Lloyd McClendon was relatively nondescript. He did talk about the starting rotation.
Hisashi Iwakuma will need to be able to pitch 6-7 innings and throw around 85-90 pitches before the Mariners think of putting him in a big league game. While Iwakuma said he hopes to be throwing in three weeks, the Mariners are still putting the 4 to 6 week timetable on him before he starts throwing.
“He’s too valuable to rush back,” McClendon said. “We have to make sure he’s at full strength when he does come back.”
Iwakuma told the Japanese media that he’d need just three spring training games to be ready for the season.
“It would make me really happy if that’s the case, but we’ll see,” McClendon said. “We’ll do right by him.”
Beyond Felix Hernandez and Iwakuma, the rest of the rotation is a guess. McClendon did say that veteran lefty Randy Wolf will compete as a starter while Zach Miner will pitch more as a reliever or a “swing man” that can spot start or pitch multiple innings in relief.
McClendon mentioned Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, Erasmo Ramirez, Blake Beavan, Scott Baker, Mark Rogers and Wolf as candidates for the rotation. He didn’t mention Brandon Maurer, but that may be a minor oversight.
“One thing I told my pitchers in the meeting is that you have opportunity,” McClendon said. “This is a new staff and I’m a new manager and I’m going into this with my eyes wide open. My responsibility is to take the best 12 or 13 pitchers north with me. I told them good luck to everybody.”
Speaking of Walker, he was supposed to be throwing his first bullpen on Monday along with Felix Hernandez. So all that panic might be a little premature.
McClendon also spoke of the passing of longtime big league manager Jim Fregosi.
“It’s been a tough day,” McClendon said. “I spoke to Jim (Leyland). It’s really a tremendous loss for baseball. The last time I talked to him was at the winter meetings. We had a nice conversation. He was really happy for me. We said we would catch up during the season. It’s tough.”