No Robinson Cano in the line-up, which was expected. Manager Lloyd McClendon thought he would play again on Monday. Corey Hart is back out in right field.
Today’s game will be broadcast live on ESPN 710.
We are meeting with McClendon a little later today because of the late games last night.
Here’s my story on Brad Miller finding tempo while fielding ground balls. I actually talked to Miller for this interview a few weeks ago and finally got around to writing it yesterday. But since I’ve talked to him, I’ve tried to notice if he’s doing what Woodward has asked in games and I’ve seen it. One of the reasons that the tempo for Miller is important is his funky throwing style. The kind of short-armed style can lead to issues if he isn’t in a good rhythm.
“Obviously, his throwing motion is not typical for a shortstop, but that doesn’t mean he can’t do it,” said Chris Woodward. “There’s plenty of guys that are very diverse in this game when it comes to throwing. Look at Troy Tulowitzski, he throws everything on the run. My message to him was don’t feel like you need to fit a mold. We need you to catch the ball and get the guy out.”
Speaking of getting outs, Jerry Brewer writes about how horrible the Mariners’ outfield defense was last season. McClendon’s quote about it yesterday was pretty honest.
Bill Madden of the New York Daily News has this column on Robinson Cano’s comments about adding Kendrys Morales and Ervin Santana, comparing it to Alex Rodriguez in Texas
Jim Caple of ESPN was in the house yesterday and wrote about Abraham Almonte.
Speaking of Almonte, Colin O’Keefe of Lookout Landing has decided that Almonte will be the starting center fielder. I’m not sure, I would be quite as declarative. I think Almonte makes the team. But they are pushing Almonte in center field because there are questions whether he can handle it defensively. He has all to the physical tools to handle the position. But he’s still very, very raw in some ways. Reads off the ball are a little hesitant. He’s uncomfortable playing near the wall. His arm is strong but a little scattered. His decision making out there is also a little suspect. It was apparent last year in Tacoma. It’s been apparent at times this spring. That’s a reason why they are playing him so much in center field.
Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago wrote that the Mariners are scouting White Sox outfielder Dayan Viciedo. A buddy, who covered the White Sox, texted me something similar the other day. It’s interesting. Viciedo sort of fits what the Mariners are looking for – outfielder, right-handed hitter. The White Sox are looking at four outfielders for three spots, so they might be willing to make a move.
Here’s his numbers …
Viciedo fell off a small cliff last year in production. He was a little banged up. But many scouts feel the league adjusted to his Betancourt-esque willingness to swing at just about anything tossed plateward. He also battled a few injuries.
It’s odd that he didn’t put up bigger numbers playing in the bandbox that is US Cellular Field – the most right-handed hitting friendly park not named Fenway. His home/road splits are essentially the same. The splits are obviously more drastic vs. left-handed pitching,w which is to be expected.
He is also not considered to be a good defensive outfielder by either advanced statistical measure or the eye test. He would be a relatively cheap add in terms of salary. Both baseball reference and fangraphs WAR metrics considered him a replacement level player last season. Maybe the Mariners see something more. There is the potential for power. Would it transfer to Safeco? This might depend on what the White Sox are asking for in return. They do need catching depth in the minors.