Cactus League Game 11, Rockies at Mariners
Jon Garland vs. Juan Nicasio, 12:05
The M’s get a new victim today to celebrate their impending 10th straight victory: the Colorado Rockies. Picking up on the recent outbreak of M’s fever, ROOT Sports will televise today’s game, so we’ll be able to see the M’s dispatch the Rockies, who’d huddled together high on mountain peaks to escape the ravaging horde of Mariners. Some may say it’s unseemly to make a spectacle out of predator/prey interactions, but it’s just nature’s way: you can’t easily map human morality to something like this. Jon Garland and Taijuan Walker need to feed. Reid Brignac is protein-rich, and his bones aid the natural digestion of apex predators like Walker.
The M’s received a bit of a scare today – no, not from another team, don’t be absurd – when Danny Hultzen was scratched from today’s game with a hip flexor injury. It’s not thought to be serious, and will only keep him out for a few days. And as it’s not arm-related, he can continue to throw a bit on the side. Still, it’s something to keep an eye on throughout the month. There was never much chance of Hultzen breaking camp with Seattle, but that small percentage has just dwindled to zero.
Joe Saunders pitched effectively yesterday, but as Harry Pavlidis noted on twitter, he was sitting in the low-mid 80s. Saunders has never been a fireballer and his game isn’t about velocity, but if you’re already monitoring Hultzen’s hip, you may as well track Saunders’ arm as well. He was at 85-88 in his start late last year in Seattle, so it’s not a huge change, but seeing a presumptive M’s starter fire in what looked for all the world like a four-seam fastball at 83 was…perplexing. Brian Moran does that all the time, and he’s a reliever, I get it. It’s also early March, and this is the kind of thing I may be making too much of, but…83?
1: Gutierrez, CF
2: Seager, 3B
3: Ibanez, DH
4: Smoak, 1B
5: Wells, RF
6: Thames, LF
7: Shoppach, C
8: Andino, 2B
9: Triunfel, SS