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April 4, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Friday’s pregame notes and line-ups – Hector Noesi DFA’d, Dominic Leone joining the M’s

4-4 -- lineups

Dominic Leone

Dominic Leone

The Mariners made a roster move while we riding through scenic East Oakland on the BART Train. Hector Noesi has been designated for assignment and right-hander Dominic Leone has been selected from Class AAA Tacoma and placed on the roster.

The team now has 10 days to trade, outright or release Noesi. I’m sure you all have thoughts on that.

Leone was drafted in the 16th round of the 2012 draft. He was a starting pitcher at Clemson and was converted to a reliever. Here are his stats from Baseball-Reference …

4-4 -- leone

He is a hard  thrower with a fastball that touches 97 mph. But he also has a two-seam fastball, a cutter, slider and a change-up. And he will throw all five pitches and if necessary. I talked with Leone this spring and never did use the interview. Here’s some stuff from it …

“I think it gives me a little advantage knowing that I have the kitchen sink in my repertoire,” he said. “It depends on what feels good that day. I have bread and butter pitchers and I think my fastball and cutter are 1 and 2 right night now. But I feel comfortable throwing slider and change if I need to.”

Leone was one of the Mariners’ better relievers this spring. He impressed manager Lloyd McClendon with that fastball. Leone took a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League – where he led the league with six saves and carried that mentality to spring training.

“I started to realize it there,” he said.  “I knew all these guys were big time prospects and they made names for themselves whether it was in the draft or in the lower minor leagues. I said why couldn’t I be in that mix. And I picked up a lot of confidence.”

At 5-11, 210 pounds, it’s amazing that Leone can throw with that kind of velocity and power. How does he do it?

“It’s a combination of everything,” he said. “I really simplified my mechanics when I first got drafted. Everything started to flow a little more easily.  I started getting a better release point out in front. I stayed consistent with my lifting. And they got me that extra miles per hour.”

He noticed it before last season in the fall instructional league.

“In college as a starter, I was anywhere from 90 to 94 on a really good day,” he said. “When I got to Everett, it went up to 94 consistently. And then last fall it just really felt good and it was getting up 96-97 consistently.”

The conversion to relieving started after he was drafted, but wasn’t always planned.

“When I first got to Everett, they told me I was going to be in the ‘pen, mostly because I’d thrown 85 innings in college so they didn’t want to overwork me,” he said. “I was throwing in the ‘pen and getting some innings and getting acclimated to pro ball and it took off from there.”

Lloyd McClendon said that Leone almost made the team out of spring training.

“We felt he was a good fit at this time,” McClendon said.

McClendon doesn’t have a set role of Leone. But he said he isn’t afraid to use him in impactful situations.

“He’s got a nice repertoire and he’s certainly capable of getting guys out at this level,” McClendon said.


McClendon was impressed how Mike Zunino handled the pitchers last night with Sean Barber’s floating strike zone. He also wouldn’t lay in blame on Barber for the loss.

“The umpire missed a couple calls here and there, but that didn’t cause us to lose the game,” he said. “We didn’t execute on a lot of different fronts. I refuse to use that as an excuse. We had some baserunning blunders. We walked 10 and didn’t get a couple big hits when we needed them. That guy didn’t cause us to lose the game.”

Hisashi Iwakuma was playing long toss again on Friday. He will throw again in two days. McClendon hopes Iwakuma will throw off the mound for the first time sometime next week.

Though he gave up three runs and a homer, McClendon said that Stephen Pryor hit 95 mph with his fastball last  night with Class AA Jackson.

Here’s my radio hit with KJR’s Ian Furness and Jason Puckett

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