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Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

February 26, 2014 at 8:23 AM

A few morning links and notes … Mariners set up tentative pitching rotation for Cactus League

A pretty quiet morning in the Mariners clubhouse. Many of the players are taking turns doing an autograph session.

Quickly on the “sort of” injury front …

Brandon Maurer, who is battling lower back stiffness, will play catch off of flat ground. Taijuan Walker, who had some shoulder soreness in the beginning of camep, will play long toss again today.

Not a lot of stuff coming from manager Lloyd McClendon’s manager’s meeting.

He and several other manager met with Tony LaRussa and Joe Torre, who were representing major league baseball, on Tuesday at the Padres complex to go over details on instant replay and the home plate collision rule.

“It went well,” McClendon said. “I thought they were great with their explanations. I think they’ve put in a nice system. There will obviously be some bugs that need to be worked out. But in the end, I think it will be good for baseball.”

LaRussa and Torre went over the details of replay – specifically which plays a manager can and can’t ask for replay help. McClendon said they’ll keep a list of those in the dugout at all times.

The Mariners start games on Thursday with their annual charity game against their bitter regional rival – the San Diego Padres.

Erasmo Ramirez will make the start and Blake Beavan will follow in that game – both are scheduled to throw two innings. McClendon plans to have his starter and starter types to work two innings their first time around. 

McClendon has slotted out the pitching rotation somewhat for the first 10 games or so.  Here’s the tentative schedule:

  • Feb. 27 vs. Padres — Erasmo Ramirez, Blake Beavan
  • Feb. 28 @ Padres — James Paxton, Matt Palmer
  • March 1 vs. Angels — Scott Baker
  • March 2 @ Indians — Randy Wolf
  • March 3 vs Rockies (SS) — Blake Beavan
  • March 3 @ Reds (SS) — Erasmo Ramirez
  • March 4 @ Dodgers — Felix Hernandez
  • March 5 vs. Indians — James Paxton
  • March 6 @ White Sox — Scott Baker
  • March 7 vs. Reds — Randy Wolf
  • March 8 @ Giants (SS) — Blake Beavan
  • March 8  @ Dodgers (SS) — Erasmo Ramirez

As for some of the competition, specifically shortstop and outfield, McClendon will try to get players vying for that spot equal time.

“We’ll try to make them as equal as possible,” McClendon said. “At some point, somebody will separate themselves. It’s been my experience, you put them out there and let them play and  guys will either step up or eliminate themselves. That goes for pitching and position players. Well, you hope that’s the case. You hope they all don’t eliminate themselves. That’s the problem I had in Pittsburgh.”

Linkage …

Here’s my story on Nick Franklin’s reaction to more trade rumors.

Venerable and homeward bound columnist Larry Stone wrote about Ken Griffey Jr.’s visits in camp in comparison to Barry Bonds return to San Francisco.

Buster Olney ranked the toughest first half schedules for the AL the other day. Seattle was rated fourth toughest. 

From the blog …

Games against teams with records of .500 or better in 2013: 27 of their first 41. 
Home/road: 18 of their first 41 are at home. 
Notable: No team may have more at stake early in the season, given the Mariners’ winter Robinson Cano makeover, and they will have their feet to the AL West fire right away. Their first 16 games are against the A’s, Angels and Rangers, including seven road games at the outset. Only 11 of the Mariners’ first 34 games are at home, and Seattle plays 10 of its 19 games against Oakland by May 7. 

Mr. Chone Figgins is still a bitter little man and still angry about how he was treated by the Mariners. He is still mad about being pinch hit for by the Mariners.  Figgins’ memory of what happened was a little off.

Ashley Varela continues her preview of the Mariners – this time with the starting pitching candidates.

Johan Santana’s comeback seems to progressing as slow as his fastball is these days.

Texas manager Ron Washington defended his choice to bunt in situations quite vehemently



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