Cactus League Game vs. Angels, WBC Practice vs. the Netherlands

marc w · March 15, 2013 at 11:00 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Jeremy Bonderman vs. Tommy Hanson, 1:05pm, plus Jon Garland vs. Tom Stuifbergen

Yesterday’s cactus league game saw dark-horse rotation candidate Brandon Maurer go four shutout innings in the M’s comeback win over the Reds. Today, two more competitors for that job take the hill. Bonderman seems to be a step behind, without the great (BABIP) results Garland’s racked up, and without the trail of “Garland is throwing the ball really well” stories in the press. Thus, today’s start is a pretty big one for the ex-Tiger. There were reports he touched 93mph recently, but he’s averaged 90 in his pitch fx games this spring. Garland seems to have the inside track on the job, from reading between the lines of the stream of positive comments we’ve heard about him. If Garland’s really healthy and if his DIPS-beating stuff is tanned, rested and ready to take on the AL, I can’t worry about it too much. Brandon Maurer isn’t out of a job, and it’s not like I’m going to complain about being able to see him in Tacoma. But a team like the M’s needs to think about getting some of their prospects some experience, and Maurer’s the last one standing. Garland isn’t terribly likely to stick around when the M’s contend, but Maurer is.

That said, if one or both of the M’s reclamation projects pan out, that’s fine. I’m still not sure how they fit both on the roster, especially as Wedge said they didn’t want a long reliever. Bumping Beavan back to Tacoma is one thing, but nobody’s bumping Erasmo Ramirez (they better not, anyway). Given Joe Saunders lackluster performance thus far, they can and should keep Bonderman around as long as possible, however. The other remaining battle is, of course, for the last outfield spot. Casper Wells shook off a neck injury to return to action the other day, and he’ll be playing the Dutch in Peoria today. In that game, Wells bats third and plays CF while Jason Bay leads off again and DH’s. Nick Franklin tries to put yesterday’s defensive misadventures behind him against the Angels, but he’ll do so from the 2B position, not SS. Carlos Triunfel, who seems to have registered good reviews on his defense (largely due to his 70-75 grade arm), starts at SS.

Franklin Gutierrez hasn’t been in the line-up the past few days due to, well, you know. Thankfully, the injury is said to be quite minor, and he’s been participating in drills, just not in games. That’s great to hear, but it does follow the pattern we’ve seen pretty much every time – rest, followed by ‘it’s nothing’ statements indicating that he’ll be back in no time, followed by ‘setbacks.’ It’s just ‘tightness in his legs’ so it doesn’t seem to have any connection to the pectoral injury last year or to the IBS problems the year before so, uh, yay?

The M’s optioned Alex Liddi today, and sent John Hicks and Stefen Romero to minor league camp. Hicks opened eyes with his defense and ingratiated himself with the city of Seattle by talking about his childhood friendship with Russell Wilson, but he’s still not played AA baseball yet. Stefen Romero had a very slight chance at the roster if the M’s found him a position or if he impressed on defense. That didn’t really happen, but it’s a moot point anyway after his oblique injury. The 2 HR, 5 RBI game showed that he’s got a legitimate bat, and we may see him later on this year. Liddi played quite well for Italy, and though the Azzuri came up just short against the Dominicans the other day, both the player and the team gave a good account of themselves. Liddi homered in warm-up games against Jered Weaver, and he hit well in the early games of the WBC, but, like Romero, he wasn’t really in line for a bench spot because the only back-up infielder needs to be an up-the-middle defender. Welcome back to Tacoma, Alex.

The full line-ups:
Vs. Angels:
1: Saunders, LF
2: Franklin, 2B
3: Ibanez, DH
4: Smoak, 1B
5: Montero, C
6: Morban, RF
7: Triunfel, SS
8: Catricala, 3B
9: F. Martinez, CF
SP: Bonderman

Vs. the Kingdom of the Netherlands:
1: Bay, DH
2: Ackley, 2B
3: Wells, CF
4: Peguero, RF
5: Shoppach, C
6: Thames, LF
7: Andino, SS
8: Jacobs, 1B
9: Miller, SS
SP: Garland



14 Responses to “Cactus League Game vs. Angels, WBC Practice vs. the Netherlands”

  1. shortbus on March 15th, 2013 11:38 am

    I’m so uninterested in watching Saunders and Garland pitch. But the young pitchers (other than Maurer) just didn’t step up this spring to take a spot in the rotation and somebody has to throw all those innings. I guess we should have the right defense for a couple of high-contact pitchers. Except, whoopsy, Morse. Saunders, as a lefty with a very average GB/FB ratio, is going to hate having Morse behind him. I expect he’ll make us hate Morse as well. Saunders is better than Vargas at preventing fly balls, however, so that’s a small upgrade.

    I really hope Maurer makes this club out of the gate and we can send Garland back to the Indians. Hopefully Bonderman takes a short AAA assignment to complete his recovery process.

  2. Westside guy on March 15th, 2013 12:00 pm

    Wait… seriously? Guti has some (minor) injury AGAIN?

  3. MrZDevotee on March 15th, 2013 1:10 pm

    I picture a “bonding” conversation between Wells and Jason Bay recently.

    Wells: (motions at Guty in the training room)

    Bay: Whoa, what’s up??

    Wells: “Tightness in his legs.”


    Bay: Is there a name for that?

    Wells: Yeah, “DL”.

    (Bay high fives Wells)

  4. marc w on March 15th, 2013 1:48 pm

    The Angels game’s being televised by the Angels broadcaster, so if you’ve got you can watch it now, or, er, later, if you want to watch Jeremy Bonderman spring training starts when you get home from work.

    Morban home run woooo

  5. Westside guy on March 15th, 2013 2:11 pm

    The Angels’ radio feed is the only one available in Gameday.

  6. globalalpha on March 15th, 2013 2:15 pm

    Smoak home run woooo. Batting lefty and hit to left field no less.

  7. TumwaterMike on March 15th, 2013 3:08 pm

    When did Nate Tenbrink resign with the Mariners? Gameday has him replacing Smoak.

  8. MrZDevotee on March 15th, 2013 3:12 pm

    “Smoak home run woooo. Batting lefty and hit to left field no less.”

    (rubs eyes… knocks cobwebs out of his head… then reads again…)

    Wait… WHAT?!

  9. Westside guy on March 15th, 2013 3:22 pm

    No idea, Tumwater. I’m finding I don’t remember a number of these guys signing. 😀

    BTW in the meaningless ST stats department – Vernon Wells is hitting .375.

  10. scraps on March 15th, 2013 4:13 pm

    3 for 8, right?

  11. casey on March 15th, 2013 5:32 pm

    is anyone broadcasting the game tonight against Team Holland?

  12. globalalpha on March 15th, 2013 5:59 pm

    I know Mr Z… If I hadn’t seen it on TV with my own eyes I wouldn’t believe it either!

  13. globalalpha on March 15th, 2013 6:02 pm

    Casey, I don’t think tonight’s game is on TV but will be broadcast on radio 710.

  14. 9inningknowitall on March 16th, 2013 9:41 am

    MrZ your Wells and Bay discussion had me laughing pretty good. I can actually picture that as well. I love Guti but maybe we can trade him before he really breaks down.

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