Found February 25, 2012 on
It is strange in some ways to leave my sons and long-time home in New York City yet feel like I am arriving home when I land in Seattle. My wife and I got in last night to attend the Starlight Foundation’s Oscar Night fundraising event tomorrow.
On-deck: Tuesday getting to Peoria, AZ and Mariners spring training. What a great time of the year!
I’m already buzzed having read about 19-year old RH Taijuan Walker’s impressive debut in the Friday intrasquad game striking out two of the three men he faced. Can’t wait to see him in the bigs either now, later this year, or next year. Mariners folks in the know have been raving about Mr. Walker for a while.
Other things to look forward to in ‘Zona, starting with the sun and warmth, include catching up with the Mariners organization and my media brethren, a few days of practices and then the spring games firing up by the end of the week.
Hopefully some baseball questions will be answered quickly. Can Chone Figgins regain his mojo as an effective leadoff man? What kind of three-hole hitter will Ichiro be? Will Justin Smoak become a dependable switch-hitting power threat? Jesus Montero – will he pay immediate dividends with his bat? And what about the other heralded pitchers: Danny Hultzen, James Paxton and Erasmo Ramirez – how will they factor into the 2012 rotation.
The Mariners are in building mode but it is exciting to watch the development of young talent. There is lots to like about the start of a new baseball season.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
M’s Need Angels in the outfield
The Seattle Mariners have been without a true left fielder since Raul Ibanez went off to greener pastures. Milton Bradley had the potential to bring a power bat in that position, but when that didn’t happen his .964 fielding percentage combined with his off the field antics were not worth the price tag and he was designated for assignment.
The comeback of the Mariners Chone Figgins is a fairy tale
In the recesses of Safeco field at the end of the Seattle Mariners 2011 season sat a man named Chone Figgins.
Figgins had been injured by special request from the masses and placed on the disabled list.
As he sat there in tears of humiliation he heard a small voice calling out his name.
He looked around trying to locate the...
A winning season from these guys would be a fantasy…
It’s that time of year, folks. Fantasy baseball season is upon us. All the fantasy freaks are frothing at the mouth to pre-rank their teams and find out what position they draft in. Being a Seattle Mariners fan, I always look at the roster and see who has the best prospects of actually helping you put together a competitive...
The big storyline that is brewing around our youth oriented Seattle Mariners this Spring Training has to do with our aging veterans; Ichiro and Figgins.
First, Manager Eric Wedge has decided that Ichiro will be our number three hitter for this season. I’m a little torn on this decision. I have been arguing (with friends and family) that Ichiro should be our number three hitter...
Heading into 2011, Mariners fans had tempered expectations. They won just 61 games in 2010, and most expected similar results in 2011. In that regards, the Mariners didn’t disappoint, winning just 67 games. The biggest issue in Seattle was the league’s worst offense, for the second year in a row. The pitching was solid and is also a strength of the farm system. Knowing these...
Another Mariners intra-squad game has come and gone, this one won 7-3 by Team 2 after it fell behind 2-0 early on.
Plenty of extra-base hits today, beginning with the Franklin Gutierrez solo homer to left off Felix Hernandez at the very start of the game. That's as many home runs as Gutierrez had all of last season.
Dustin Ackley hit a two-run homer off Josh Kinney in the fifth...
Oft-injured infielder Carlos Guillen said he was glad to sign a minor-league deal with the Mariners because "it was my first house, my first team in the big leagues."
For the next few weeks, SeattleClubhouse will be doing a Mariners' prospect depth chart series. We start today by ranking the Top-15 Starting Pitchers in the organization.
Just chatted with Lance Painter, the former big league pitcher who handled James Paxton and Erasmo Ramirez in Class AA last season. Painter has had the chance to observe both guys up close this spring -- along with Danny Hultzen and Taijuan Walker -- and does not expect any of the quartet to b overcome with nerves during today's intra-squad game.
The game gets underway in about...
There were a couple of key defensive plays that went largely unnoticed by casual observers of yesterday's game, but which did resonate with some members of the front office.
How do I know this? I was standing right in front of them shooting photos.
Anyhow, one came on the photo you see above, where catcher Jesus Montero slides to his let to block a pitch in the dirt from James...
Franklin Gutierrez, seen in the photo above taking BP earlier this morning, will be starting in center and batting leadoff for Team 2 today in his first spring training intra-squad action. Jesus Montero will be batting cleanup for Team 2 and catching.
For frequent updates, stay tuned right here and to my Twitter feed @gbakermariners.
It took just one batter for Mariners prospect Danny Hultzen to get a sense of how different it can be pitching to big-leaguers.
PHOTO: Erasmo Ramirez lets fly with a pitch to Vinnie Catricala in today's intra-squad game.
Some of the best stuff we witnessed in today's 3-3 intra-squad tie happened at the very beginning of the game. Chone Figgins came up in the bottom of the first inning and worked a 10-pitch walk against Danny Hultzen.
Figgins fouled off three two-strike pitches before finally taking...
Much is riding on Montero's development behind the plate. He's getting plenty of support in spring camp from veterans Guillermo Quiroz and Miguel Olivo.