The best of Wak in the A.M.

Manager Don Wakamatsu just finished with is daily pre-workout media session on Field 1.

During the seven minute, 19-second session under a bright blue Arizona sky, he said right-handed pitcher Brandon Morrow is still ill and probably will miss the workout, and two players, in particular, have caught his eye this spring.

“The biggest (surprise) in the bullpen is (Randy) Messenger,” he said. “I have been real pleased with the way he has thrown the ball. I also am pleased with Ronny Cedeno.”

Messenger, released and re-signed last month, has logged 2 1/3 scoreless innings and shares the Cactus League lead with two saves. And Cedeno, the likely utility player this season, is 6-for-18 with the bat and solid with the glove. His six hits are second on the team to Matt Tuiasosopo’s eight hits and — for my money — also ranks among the camp’s most pleasant surprises.

As for Messenger, he wasn’t considered a closer candidate when camp opened, but he’s moving in that direction as no one else has really stepped forward, although it’s still early.

The starting lineups for today’s game against the Dodgers were just delivered to us media types by Amber the Intern and Manny Ramirez is not in the Dodgers lineup. Bummer.

However, since the Dodgers don’t have nearly as many of their 40-man roster players competing in the World Baseball Classic, their starters today include regulars Rafael Furcal (SS), Orlando Hudson (2B), Andre Ethier (RF), Casey Blake (DH) and James Loney (1B).

Seattle’s lineup includes projected regular-season starter Adrian Beltre at third base, Mike Sweeney in the DH spot and. . .err…uhhh…hmmm.

— Jim Street

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