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Topic: eric wedge

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July 24, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Eric Wedge still in hospital as Mariners shoot for ninth straight win

The weather is co-operating for a beautiful sunny day at Safeco Field as the Mariners try for a ninth straight win starting at 12:40 p.m.

The weather is co-operating for a beautiful sunny day at Safeco Field as the Mariners try for a ninth straight win starting at 12:40 p.m.

Mariners manager Eric Wedge is still not out of the hospital this morning, though he expects to get more news about his test results later today. That’s the word given us by interim manager Robby Thompson, who spoke with Wedge earlier this morning by phone.

“He sounded great, he really did,” Thompson said. “He really sounded good, he’s upbeat. Other than that…he wanted to know about the lineup, how guys are doing…more baseball related than anything.”

Interim manager Robby Thompson spoke this morning with Eric Wedge, who remains in a hospital after suffering dizzy spells on Monday.

Interim manager Robby Thompson spoke this morning with Eric Wedge, who remains in a hospital after suffering dizzy spells on Monday.

Wedge was hospitalized on Monday after suffering from dizziness while the Mariners were taking batting practice prior to the series opener. Thompson agreed Wedge’s medical ordeal has played out longer than he’d initially anticipated.

“Obviously, we were hoping he’d get out right away,” Thompson said. “But under these circumstances and with all of the testing that he’s been through, it’s taken a little longer. They were just really leaning on the cautious side of things. Hopefully, if any of us were in the hospital, we’d want out of there as quickly as possible. So, we’ll see how he feels and we’ll know more later this afternoon, we’re hoping.”

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Comments | More in manager | Topics: eric wedge, robby thompson; hospital; streak

March 13, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Jason Bay as a leadoff guy? The Mariners are taking a look

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Jason Bay says he isn’t as surprised as others that his name this morning is pencilled in atop the Mariners lineup for a second day in a row. The Mariners are taking a look at leadoff candidates and want to see what Bay can do.

“I think everybody else thinks it’s a little more novel than I actually do,” Bay said.

Well, there were those 1,200-plus MLB games in which he’d never hit leadoff before. Then again, Bay has done it in spring training. Right?…um, right, Mr. Bay?

“I think I have,” he said, backtracking from an earlier assertion. “I know I’ve hit second a bunch of times.”

Ah, but second is not first. Just ask the 49’ers post Super Bowl.

In any event, Bay says he’s got the formula for leading off figured out pretty well.

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Comments | More in spring training | Topics: Dustin Ackley, eric wedge, Jason Bay

March 12, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Mariners lose 5-4 to Diamondbacks despite late comeback

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Remember back when we were saying spring training wins and losses don’t matter much? Well, keep that in mind now that the Mariners today dropped their fifth game in six tries since that 10-game win streak. Today’s 5-4 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks was secured when Hector Noesi, a pitcher who won’t be anywhere near a big league mound when April 1 rolls around — unless he’s traded to the Astros (get used to these jokes from me, Houston) — yielded a three-run homer to Mark Teahen in the fourth inning.

Mariners infield prospect Nick Franklin grounds out to end today's game.

Mariners infield prospect Nick Franklin grounds out to end today’s game.

The Mariners started scraping back from a 5-1 deficit in the fifth on a solo homer by Brad Miller and an RBI single by Brendan Ryan. Miller then doubled with two out in the ninth and scored when a Julio Morban pop-up was dropped in the infield. But Nick Franklin grounded out to the right side and that was the game.

Prior to that, we saw Felix Hernandez toss three innings of one-run ball with 38 pitches, then throw another 12 in the bullpen to get his total up to about 50. That sets him up nicely for a 65-pitch outing his next time out. The Mariners didn’t want him starting the fourth inning and having tocome out partway through once he reached 50, hence the bullpen work.

“I had more command,” Hernandez said of the outing. “More command and there was a good finish on the pitches. It was a little bit different.”

Hernandez said he needed work on throwing from the stretch position, something he tried more of in the bullpen.

“It’s coming along pretty good,” he said. “I’m feeling better and better.”

The home run, he said, came when he left his sinker a little bit up to Hinske. Hernandez also cited “Arizona” as a reason, meaning the air here might have contributed to the blast leaving the yard.

“He was strong and using all of his pitches,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “He looked great out there today.”

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Comments | More in Cactus League | Topics: eric wedge, felix hernandez, hector noesi

February 24, 2013 at 3:07 PM

Mariners, Raul Ibanez run up score early for second straight win

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For the second day in a row, the Mariners blew the San Diego Padres up early and cruised to a relatively easy 8-3 victory. Raul Ibanez did the damage today with a three-run homer off former Seattle and Yankees teammate Freddy Garcia in a five-run first inning that decided things from the get-go.

Michael Saunders and Michael Morse added doubles in the inning as the Mariners took a 5-0 lead. Then, after the Padres scored a run in the fourth, the Mariners ran up the score with three more runs in the fifth. Seattle finished the day with seven doubles among 16 hits.

Mariners congratulate each other on field moments after defeating San Diego Padres 8-3 in Cactus League play on Sunday.

Erasmo Ramirez turned in a scoreless first inning, allowing just one hit, while James Paxton retired three in a row in the second inning after giving up a leadoff single.

For Ibanez, the home run was similar to what Jason Bay did early on in Saturday’s game with a two-run shot. The two veterans were brought to town for their leadership ability, but also because the Mariners feel they can still play. Ibanez has always hit right-handed pitching well and wasted little time against Garcia, who he teamed with in New York last year.

“I was just looking for a pitch that I could hit hard somewhere,” said Ibanez, who finished 2-for-3 with the homer, a single, three RBI and a run scored . “I thought he might throw something else. With him, he throws so many different pitches — he’s got a great forkball, split thing and I though he might throw it there, and he did.”

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Comments | More in Cactus League | Topics: Erasmo Ramirez, eric wedge, Raul Ibanez

February 22, 2013 at 3:11 PM

Mariners lose Cactus League opener 9-3 to Padres

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There wasn’t a whole lot to talk about in this game, other than Hector Noesi giving up six runs total — four earned — and a Jedd Gyorko grand slam in the first inning and Casper Wells hitting a two-run, two-out homer in the bottom of the ninth. The Mariners took a 9-3 loss to the San Diego Padres in front of  5,495 fans at Peoria Stadium on a day things were settled pretty early.

Mariners outfielder Casper Wells connects for a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning of a 9-3 loss.

The good news, I suppose, is how the Mariners pretty much limited the damage after the first inning. The Padres didn’t score again until adding three in the top of the ninth.

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“We got a lot of guys in there today,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “For the most part, they threw the ball well. Hector struggled a little bit early on, he was up a little bit.”

Mariners leave the field after today’s defeat.

Noesi’s location was off for much of his 42-pitch outing, in which he recorded just two outs. An error by Raul Ibanez on a fly ball to left didn’t help Noesi any, but he also couldn’t put batters away when he needed to.

“First time out, the ball wascoming out of hishand good,” Wedge said. “He just cut it off a bit as the inning wore on. When he does that, he just doesn’t have the same life. He was just a little bit off but he said he felt good, so hopefully he can just work off of that and come back strong the next time.”

Noesi will have to. He was already facing a steep, steep climb trying to make this rotation and did not do himself any early favors here.

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Comments | More in Cactus League | Topics: casper wells, eric wedge, hector noesi

February 21, 2013 at 4:01 PM

Mariners get their work in ahead of Cactus League opener against Padres

Mariners infielders converge on a pop-up during a drill earlier Thursday in Peoria, AZ.

The weather down here has taken a turn towards the cool side but at least it wasn’t raining today like it was on Wednesday. That means the Mariners were able to get plenty of fielding drills in to make up for yesterday’s rain-abbreviated workout.

On the outfield side of things, it was interesting to see one group that consisted of Michael Morse and Jason Bay in left field, Franklin Gutierrez in center and Michael Saunders and Raul Ibanez in right. They too turns getting to balls in the gaps, hitting the cutoff men with relay throws and stuff like that. It’s entirely possible those five guys could be your Opening Day outfield for this team, at those respective positions. But we’ll see. Don’t forget, the team still has Casper Wells in the mix.

“We were able to get a lot of work done today,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “We had to make up a little bit fundamentally for yesterday. The guys did a nice job with that.”

The team opens Cactus League play tomorrow against the San Diego Padres in the annual Charity Game at Peoria Stadium. Wedge said he’ll try to get position players an at-bat or two over a few innings. Two players who won’t be taking part in any of that will be shortstop Brendan Ryan and second baseman Dustin Ackley , both coming off surgery and being eased back into things this spring.

Mariners left-hander Joe Saunders throws live batting practice to Jason Bay.

“It’s just to give them a little more time,” Wedge said. “They’re practising well and doing a nice job. But I just think it’s important to give them a little more time.”

Both players will be held out of the entire weekend series against San Diego.

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Comments | More in spring training | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Dustin Ackley, eric wedge

February 20, 2013 at 1:50 PM

Mariners ace Felix Hernandez throws first bullpen session this spring

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Felix Hernandez walked out to the field after the rain halted on a cool, wet day here, took some warm-up tosses with bullpen catcher Jason Phillips, then headed to an indoor bullpen for a 33-pitch session that lasted about 10 minutes.

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Hernandez threw mostly fastballs with some changeups mixed in. The session drew quite a crowd of onlookers, between coaches, front office types, media and Hernandez’s Seattle teammates. They were all either inside the bullpen area or pressed along an outer fence watching.

Mariners ace Felix Hernandez throws a 33-pitch indoor bullpen session under the watchful eye of pitching coach Carl Willis.

“I was waiting for it for a long time,” Hernandez said of his first throwing session since inking a 7-year, $175-million deal last week. “Now that I feel good, I’m going to just keep going out there like normal and go with my routine and prepare for the games.”

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Comments | More in Felix Hernandez | Topics: bullpen session, contract extension, eric wedge

February 19, 2013 at 8:01 AM

Watching the dynamic between Mariners catchers

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Filming this little bit of a catchers drill at Mariners camp, I was struck not so much by the actual catching and throwing part, but by some of the interplay and exchanges between the catchers, coach Jeff Datz and manager Eric Wedge.

Watch a bit of it and you can see who feels comfortable taking charge out there, who needs a little work on that and just how the three guys doing the drill relate to one another. The three catchers featured are Mike Zunino, Jesus Montero and Kelly Shoppach, in that order. Just by watching, you can see the stature that Shoppach carries and how the others listen to what he has to say. This is the kind of stuff you don’t get to see looking at boxscores or even watching on TV during the season. Frankly, this is the thing I enjoy most about covering spring training. Getting to show you all the kind of stuff up close that is difficult to understand unless you can watch it up close. Just from being here — without having to be told anything officially — you can see how Shoppach is going to make the team regardless of what his spring stats look like.

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“He’s done a nice job,” Wedge said of Shoppach. “I’ve known him from early on in Cleveland when he was younger. Had him the first couple years when he broke in. It’s been nice to see how far along he’s come. He’s had a leadership personality for us, in particular with the pitchers and the catchers. He does have some presence. He’s a good ballplayer. He’s a winning ballplayer.”

On paper, you’d never imagine that a first round draft pick (No. 3 overall) like Zunino, or a highly-rated young MLB prospect like Montero would give a hoot what a backup like Shoppach has to say. Or even a manager like Wedge who barely played catcher in the majors. But the reality of big league ball is that they do. The reason is that Shoppach has lasted in the majors while Zunino has yet to play a game and Montero is still learning how to play his position at this level. That’s not a knock on the young guys, just reality.  They may have talent, but honing it and using it to the best of their abilities is what this is all about and the margin between success and failure is razor thin. In the end, it’s Wedge’s job — regardless of his own prior on-field success as a catcher — to get the most out of his players any way he can and to make them into what they are supposed to be.

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Comments | More in spring training | Topics: eric wedge, Jesus Montero, kelly shoppach

January 31, 2013 at 8:23 AM

What Casper Wells must do to up his stock with the Mariners

Mariners outfielder Casper Wells has some work to do if he’s to convince team he’s more than just a part-time player. Photo Credit: AP

One of the questions that has continued to pop up all winter long as the Mariners keep adding outfielders is “What about Casper Wells?”

Indeed, what about Wells? We’re still less than two years removed from the Doug Fister trade with the Tigers in which Wells arrived in Seattle as possibly the front-liner to the deal. Folks forget how valued Wells once was in Detroit as a prospect, with the idea that he might one day be that team’s everyday center fielder. That ended when the Tigers acquired Austin Jackson from the Yankees, but the point is, Wells was a versatile enough athlete that he was viewed as a potential star at three outfield positions.

That star had faded somewhat as a prospect by the time the Mariners acquired him. But it’s safe to say the Mariners viewed Wells as at least a major league regular in the outfield corners as well as a potential backup in center field. Today, Wells is viewed as a fourth outfielder and one who might not hang on to that role if some additional moves are made.

So, what happened? Better still, how can Wells rehabilitate his image within his own organization?

Not to go all CSI on you, but the forensic examination as to what killed Wells’s reputation won’t take very long. It wouldn’t even fill 15 minutes of an hour-long episode. All the evidence needed is contained in the period of June 28 through Aug. 7, when the Mariners allowed Wells to start in 34 consecutive games.

His results: a .209 batting average, .267 on-base percentage, .381 slugging percentage and .648 OPS with 36 strikeouts and only 8 walks in 151 plate appearances.

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Comments | More in casper wells | Topics: casper wells, doug fister, eric wedge