Found February 14, 2013 on
NorthWest Sports Beat:
I love spring training
It is a time speculation and expert opinion about what the coming year will look like, where the M’s will place in their division and what players will make the 40 man roster for opening day.
It is a chance to see the possibilities of the future as the Mariners prospects play alongside the veterans.
What is bad about spring training are the skewed stats that make one believe that the Mariners are going to win every game.
However, I am going into this spring with a game plan to help me prepare myself for reality.
Justin Smoak’s swing
Smoak ended last season on a tear that snapped his season long “warm up”.
With the Mariners adding so many players as eligible 1st base candidates, the leash for Smoak with be short.
When Smoak comes to bat I am going to be looking for a consistent, smooth and quick bat. Last season he swung at a lot of bad pitches and couldn’t catch up with the good pitches.
This is a strong young guy that was once the top 1st base prospect in the game. He isn’t a guy aging out, he should be able to make the adjustment or he will find himself in a Tacoma uniform.
Jesus Montero’s feet
Will Smoak last this year in Seattle? (Photo: Seattle Times)
After losing John Jaso and Miguel Olivo, the M’s are putting a lot of weight on their prized steal from the Yankees to be more of an everyday catcher.The M’s have picked up Kelly Shoppach and Ronnie Polino to add to their young catching corps, including raging hot prospect Mike Zunino, but Montero is the only one that has worked with the pitching staff before.
Aside from that leadership component I will be looking at his footwork behind the plate, and his speed on the basepaths.
Last season the young man proved to hit better on the days he was catching instead of DH’ing but his footwork will determine his role on this club.
It will also be interesting to see what sort of implications come out of his name being on the steroid doctor’s list and how that affects him mentally.
Dustin Ackley’s gameplay
Apparently Ackley played through some painful bone spurs in his ankle last season, yet still provided better than expected defense at second base.
I’ve had ankle problems myself and I can tell you there is no way I could have played in 153 baseball games in this past year.
It goes to show what an incredible athlete he is. However, I really hope to see why he was a top draft pick for the M’s, Seattle needs a win.
Mike Carp’s options
Carp proved one thing last season, that he shouldn’t be playing the outfield.
However with the addition of Jason Bay, Raul Ibanez, and Michael Morse, it would seem that Carp is a man without much of a chance of making the team.
He is also out of minor league options at this point so if the M’s don’t keep him on the roster, they could lose him to another team.
If he has spent the offseason getting in shape he could make that decision really difficult.
Editors note: Mike Carp was DFA’d on Tuesday afternoon.
Danny Hultzen’s control
With the loss of Jason Vargas, the M’s are without a left handed starter moving into this season.
Hultzen could potentially fill that gap if he proves himself against major league hitters.
He struggled in AAA last season, so he could use some more seasoning, but it would be great to be wowed by the young man.
Editors note: Left hander Joe Saunders was signed officially on Tuesday afternoon.
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BEST OF MAXIM
The Seattle Mariners walked through every door and jumped through every hoop that they had to.
By the end of last-minute elbow evaluations and the like, they ensured that their $175 million investment in pitcher Felix Hernandez was a wise one.
On Wednesday both Hernandez and the team made the pact official and he is now the highest paid pitcher in the history...
Despite some snags in the recent days, the Seattle Mariners and SP Felix Hernandez have reached a deal on his new contract worth a reported $175 million dollars. The two parties will hold a news conference on Wednesday to announce the deal making Hernandez the highest paid pitcher in Major League Baseball.
As originally reported last week, Hernandez’s deal rolls the last two years...
After hemming and hawing for a few days, the Seattle Mariners and ace right-hander Felix Hernandez have reportedly finalized the seven-year, $175 million contract the two sides essentially agreed to last week. Over the weekend it was reported that the deal was being held up because of concerns about the soundness of Hernandez’s pitching elbow.
The alleviate concerns about his arm...
An elbow “issue” was reportedly behind the delayed and ultimately adjusted agreement reached between the Seattle Mariners and
right-hander Felix Hernandez. While this unknown ailment that was discovered
during Hernandez’s MRI following the initial agreement, the former Cy Young
Award winner has now received a clean bill of health from team doctors, general
In the This Is My Nightmare series, we'll take a look at what the absolute worst case scenario for each team would be in 2013. Think of it as the negative complement to our You May Say I'm A Dreamer series that we'll be running during our preview series.
It's actually pretty easy to envision a nightmarish season for the Mariners. This is a team that lost 87 games...
The Yankees exiled 23-year-old OF Abraham Almonte to Seattle yesterday for pitcher Shawn Kelley, a 28-year-old bullpen cotter pin who been designated for assignment, leaving the Mariners near zero leverage in cutting another sweet Jesus deal. It's hard to spin these sub-atomic particle movements, which can only be seen through River Ave electron microscopes, or the Scranton Tribune...
In Seattle, all eyes are (justfiably) always on Felix Hernandez. He's one of the best pitchers in baseball, he's close to agreeing to a huge contract extension with the team, and he's the face of the franchise. There's also a lot of attention being placed on new acquisition Michael Morse, former top prospects Justin Smoak, Dustin Ackley, and Jesus Montero, and on...
Ben and Sam preview the Mariners` season, and Pete talks to Seattle Times Mariners writer Geoff Baker (at 18:53).
Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images
The New York Yankees made their first roster move of the spring earlier tonight, announcing the acquisition of a new relief pitcher. The team has picked up RHP Shawn Kelley from the Seattle Mariners. The release from the team is below:
The New York Yankees today announced they have acquired right-handed pitcher Shawn Kelley from the Seattle...
Finalizing his record extension with the Mariners hit a bit of a snag, but Seattle and Felix Hernandez have made their new pact official, guaranteeing King Felix $175 million over the next seven seasons in the Pacific Northwest. It seems risky to lock up so much money to a starting pitcher, but it’s clear that Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik wants to make his ace the centerpiece of...