Cactus League Game 2, A’s at Mariners

Jay Yencich · March 3, 2012 at 11:19 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Welcome back for this, the second game of our Cactus League schedule. Feels easy slipping back into this routine, right? Like falling off a bicycle.

There were three big stories from this morning, I suppose. One is that Jesus Montero is A-OK, something that might surprise you as being an issue if you weren’t listening yesterday. The cool thing to come out of that game was that Montero hit one of those opposite field dingers we’re counting on him to hit this season. The uncool thing is that he was removed after getting smacked in the jaw twice by consecutive foul balls. The Mariners figured that after that, he had done his work and probably didn’t want to play anymore. It’s a common thing to not want to play a game anymore after being knocked in the jaw twice. Man, once I was locked in just this intense match of Guess Who? and… anyway…

The other bit of news was that Saunders hit dingers, which affords us the opportunity to talk a little about him. I think we also did that one of the last time I was posting links too. Shannon Drayer wrote a little piece on it yesterday, talking about the 60 oz bat in practice (we were always looking for those big bats!), the rubber bands that he used to stabilize himself, something involving a dog tennis ball tosser that I’m not quite sure I understand. He’s also trying to change his approach to the point where he’s less passive and now I have Wedge’s talk about aggressiveness ringing in my ears. But the important thing is that we’re talking about him in a positive light for things that he’s actually accomplished. In one game, I know. Still, he seems like he’ll have a good chance to pick up the center field job to open the season.

And Guti? It turns out that the tear in his pectoral muscle was partial and won’t require surgery, and that may mean he’ll get back a little sooner. He won’t be able to participate in any upper body work in the short-term and will be in a sling for a little while. Guti seems positive about his abilities to get back though, which is good because I know that more than a few of us were probably afraid he was cursed or something and looking at the third year of being somewhat broken.

Here’s a lineup. It looks more like an actual Mariners lineup. Take that however you will.

3B Figgins
2B Ackley
RF Ichiro!
1B Smoak
LF Carp
C Olivo
DH Peguero
CF Saunders
SS Ryan

P Noesi

Since they’re playing at home, today’s bench features everyone. Seriously, nineteen-man bench over here. After Noesi, Millwood and Kuo are supposed to pitch. Then other guys will pitch until there are enough innings.


20 Responses to “Cactus League Game 2, A’s at Mariners”

  1. Paul B on March 3rd, 2012 11:26 am

    It feels like I’ve seen that lineup before (or, at least, those guys in the same lineup).

    And I don’t have good memories about it, either.

  2. MoreMariners on March 3rd, 2012 11:27 am

    Don’t know why Peguero is playing again.

  3. marc w on March 3rd, 2012 11:30 am

    Glad to see Noesi and Iwakuma pitching in Peoria, as we’ll get a bit of pitch fx data on both.
    Noesi reportedly increased his velocity this winter in the Dominican (Shannon Drayer just mentioned this again on John Clayton’s show on 710) and we’ll be able to see what he’s throwing. Working mostly out of the pen, he was 92-94 w/his fastballs last year. If he’s consistently in the middle 90s, that’s a big deal.

    Iwakuma got blasted in the intrasquad game and is coming off of a shoulder injury. Is his velo down? It’s not the end of the world if it is at this point, but it’s definitely something to watch.

  4. marc w on March 3rd, 2012 11:32 am

    Peguero’s probably playing because they wanted to give Montero a day off after his injury yesterday.

  5. MoreMariners on March 3rd, 2012 11:32 am

    I doubt Noesi will be able to sustain mid-90s as a starter. If he gained a few MPH, he’ll probably still be around 92-93 as a starter

  6. marc w on March 3rd, 2012 11:43 am

    It’s definitely not out of the question, MoreMariners. His last game of the season in 2011, he made a spot start against the Rays and averaged 93mph w/his fastball. Yes, it was a short start – sort of an in-between relief and starting appearance, but his last four-seamer was over 94 that day and he touched 96 in his 3rd and final inning.

    If he’s able to do that more consistently and still avoid walks, that’s huge. Dave mentioned the possibility that he could throw harder than he’d consistently shown, and if so, it really changes the complexion of the trade.

  7. texasmarinerfan on March 3rd, 2012 12:00 pm

    Lets see how Figgins does, and if he has learned what the strike zone is…

  8. Jay Yencich on March 3rd, 2012 12:14 pm

    That left me questioning the ump’s strike zone a little more, assuming Gameday was reasonably accurate.

  9. texasmarinerfan on March 3rd, 2012 12:35 pm

    The umpires need Spring Training too. Are the Spring Training Umpires MLB umpires or are they Milb or other umpires?

  10. argh on March 3rd, 2012 12:49 pm

    A Peguero slide into second on a stolen base? That must be like watching the ‘Nimitz’ hit the pier at full ahead.

  11. Jay Yencich on March 3rd, 2012 1:02 pm

    I’m glad that I don’t feel like we’re counting on Millwood too much.

  12. argh on March 3rd, 2012 1:10 pm

    A performance by an ‘innings eater’ that could easily give you indigestion.

  13. texasmarinerfan on March 3rd, 2012 1:21 pm


  14. Jay Yencich on March 3rd, 2012 1:23 pm

    Never have home runs made me sooooo saaaad.

  15. georgmi on March 3rd, 2012 1:41 pm

    I seem to recall David Justice hitting a home run or two off Arthur Rhodes that made me extremely sad.

    But then, I’m pretty old.

  16. Duworkson on March 3rd, 2012 1:49 pm

    Can someone tell me what Noesi’s average fastball was for the two innings he was in? Also what was he topping out at?

  17. Jay Yencich on March 3rd, 2012 1:54 pm

    On Twitter, Dave said Noesi was averaging 94. 92-97 range.

  18. Duworkson on March 3rd, 2012 2:11 pm

    Thanks Jay! I don’t know why? But, I like his chance cracking the rotation. Maybe, because I like to root for under-dogs. Hopefully, all those Yankee fans are right about this Noesi’s potential.

  19. groundzero55 on March 3rd, 2012 2:19 pm

    I’m pretty sure Noesi was already a better bet than Millwood before anyone had thrown a pitch. Millwood is there more as insurance.

  20. argh on March 3rd, 2012 4:48 pm

    Based on today’s performance, Millwood as insurance is like having AIG insuring your CDO’s.

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