March 13th, 2010
Two errors by second baseman chone Figgins?
Six hits and four runs surrendered by fifth-starter candidate Doug Fister?
Two hits and two walks by one-time fifth-starter candidate Garrett Olson?
There were some glitches in today’s 8-4 loss to the Giants at Peoria Stadium and even some less visible events. Not in the boxscore was a headfirst slide into second base by Eric Byrnes that scraped his nose, chin and both elbows.
Never a dull moment with the high-energy veteran outfielder.
“With Fister, there were a lot of things I liked about that outing,” manager Don Wakamatsu said. “There were a couple of broken bats in there (a three-run first inning), but I was encouraged.”
Fister has been working out a windup and he still struggles with it at times, but there is still three remaining in Spring Training to get it sorted out. That being said, Wakamatsu said he wants to have his five-man rotation pretty much in order by the end of next week, which gives Fister one more start to turn things around.
As for Olson, the left-hander had command issues and was all over the place with his pitches.
“That is something we are going to have to work on with him,” Wakamatsu said. “He’s a candidate for the long spot.”
The skipper said that the four pitches after Olson — Levale Speigner, Mark Lowe, Sean White and Yusmeiro Petit, all pitched well.
The three errors were a Cactus League high this season, but third baseman Jose Lopez made a superb play to deprive Jose Uribe of an extra-base hit in the second and Byrnes got his uniform dirty the first time with a diving catch in left-center.
“I will defend these guys on this field, especially Figgy,” Wakamatsu said. “Sometimes (a hard field) creates bad habits and after the fourth inning, the field really dries up. We’ll have to get them to put more water on it.”
The usually sure-handed Josh Wilon also committed an error.
Left fielder Michael Saunders, who showed some warning track power last season with the Mariners but never used his home run trot, finally demonstrated it today, hitting a two-run home run in the ninth inning.
The play of the day, though, was Byrnes doing a belly flop into second base in the fourth inning — the Mariners’ first hit of the game.
“He might as well have been in a car wreck,” Wakamatsu said. “Nothing serious, but it will leave a mark tomorrow.”
Byrnes was on the ground for a few seconds after the slide, prompting a visit from Wakamatsu and the trainer.
“He wanted to know how his nose was,” Wakamatsu said.
– Jim Street
There was a Cougar spotted in the public relations office this morning.
Actually, three Cougars, including former WSU Sports Information Director Rod Commons.
Jeff Evans, the Mariners assistant public relations director (and WSU grad) introduced me to Commons — all decked out in WSU garb — and asked if he knew Pat Caraher. I had never met Pat, but knew of him through his dad, Joe, the late, great publisher of the Herald & News in Klamath Falls, Ore.
I was a freshman at College of the Siskiyous in 1964 when Joe hired me for the summer, beginning a career that has lasted a long time, going on 46 years. Yikes!
Joe was among the best people I’ve ever run across, and a proud WSU grad.
Well, standing a few feet away was Pat Caraher. A small world in a small room. We agreed that his dad and my first boss in the newspaper business was a classy guy to say the least.
The trio is in town for a few days to watch the Mariners and a bunch of other teams during a visit to the Cactus League.
– Jim Street
Erik Bedard plays catch during pre-game workouts at the Peoria Sports Complex
The word out of camp today is that left-hander Erik Bedard is progressing so well from shoulder surgery that he is slated to throw a bullpen session on March 23.
“He is throwing real good,” manager Don Wakamatsu said. “He will throw a light bullpen.”
Bedard had season-ending surgery last August 14 to repair a torn labrum and the free agent was expected to miss at least half of this season. But the Mariners were so encouraged by his progress that they offered him an incentive-laden contract with a $1.5 million base and he accepted it.
It appears now that he conceivably could return to the Mariners’ rotation sometime in May, though that has not been solidified. Regardless, if he comes back 100 percent healthy, it would be like making a trade without giving anyone up.
Slotting him into the rotation for the final four months of the season would definitely enhance the Mariners’ pennant hopes.
Bedard allowed two or fewer runs in 13 of his 15 starts last season — and three earned runs in the other two.
The second roster cut of camp occured this morning with four players being sent out.
Outfielder Greg Halman was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma while infielders Tommy Everidge, Brad Nelson and outfielder Mike Wilson were re-assigned to the Minor League camp.
That leaves 51 players in camp, including 13 non-roster invitees.
And now for today’s starting lineup against the Giants:
1. Ichiro, RF
2. Chone Figgins, 2B
3. Jose Lopez, 3B
4. Ken Griffey Jr., DH
5. Eric Byrnes, LF
6. Casey Kotchman, 1B
7. Franklin Gutierrez, CF
8. Adam Moore, C
9. Josh Wilson, SS
P Doug Fister
– Jim Street