Do You See What a Metaphysical Can of Worms the Cactus League Is? Giants at Mariners

marc w · March 19, 2013 at 5:30 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Brandon Maurer vs. Barry Zito, 7:05pm

What is it for, exactly? How much can you glean from watching a game in Arizona in March? I don’t hate baseball-in-Arizona – not at all. But why do we get pitchers prepared to throw in May in cold, damp Seattle by having them throw in warm, dry Arizona in March? It’s not without its advantages, of course, but this simulacrum does something to those ensnared in it. So accustomed to taking the field around mid-day, the M’s trundled on to a diamond already occupied by their own minor leaguers. Joe Saunders faced off against Tai Walker, and there were umpires and box scores and everything. Saunders doesn’t seem to be in any danger of being bumped out of the rotation, but Brandon Maurer soldiers on, simultaneously in and out of the running for rotation slot #5. Time slows down. A diminutive man is paid handsomely to continue his baseball-themed performance art in Florida, and we all applaud. Bonderman has always been at war with Garland. This is your brain on Cactus League. Any questions?

Today’s line-up:
1: Saunders, CF
2: Gutierrez, DH
3: Morales, 1B
4: Morse, LF
5: Seager, 3B
6: Bay, RF
7: Shoppach, C
8: Miller, SS
9: Franklin, 2B
SP: Brandon Maurer

Today’s game (and the rest of the Cactus League starts) will be broadcast by the M’s radio network. No more delayed starts, and no more “I guess I’ll check out the A’s broadcast crew’ situations. Tonight’s game is also on live TV, so tune in and check out the prospect who’s leapfrogged some of his more heralded teammates this spring. Last year, it was Erasmo Ramirez, and this year it’s Maurer – some of that is age and experience (both Erasmo and Maurer had been in the minors for a few years), but some of it, honestly, has to do with Hultzen and Paxton stumbling a bit. To be fair, Hultzen was brilliant in yesterday’s AAA/AA game, but that’s not the kind of game we thought he’d be pitching in this spring after looking at his AA stats. The other way to look at it is that our expectations were so, so high for the “Big Three” that it’s noteworthy when a pitcher with more experience may get to the majors sooner. Expectations aren’t a bad thing, especially when you’re a Mariners fan and need something to look forward to, but I have to remind myself that Hultzen was drafted in June of 20 freaking 11.

Joe Saunders gave up 2R on 8H with 8Ks in 6IP which I think proves my point about this whole spring training malarkey.


36 Responses to “Do You See What a Metaphysical Can of Worms the Cactus League Is? Giants at Mariners”

  1. Westside guy on March 19th, 2013 5:42 pm

    Televised baseball! And it’s raining at my house, which I will interpret in the only reasonable way possible – God wants me to watch Brandon Maurer pitch tonight.

  2. Paul B on March 19th, 2013 5:45 pm

    Watching the WBC. They should have the championship in Seattle. Unlike San Fran, we have a roof.

    And I bet it would draw here.

  3. PackBob on March 19th, 2013 5:50 pm

    Spring training is just to get back into the routine and stretch the kinks out while the manager and coaches trade lies about what they did in the off-season and pretend they are in the process of making decisions they’ve already made.

    Maurer/Ramirez vs. The Big Three shows the value of simply getting experience when the quality of talent, and the number of players with quality talent, rises on each level from college through the minors. Each level above is kind of like the all-stars from the level below and I have to think that for just about everyone, that takes some adjustment. Ackley and Seager would probably have benefited from a longer trip though the minors.

  4. Paul B on March 19th, 2013 6:53 pm

    Root touting a show on the highlights of 2012.

    Should be a short show, they only need to talk about 1 game.

  5. sciacca on March 19th, 2013 7:24 pm

    2 games. There was the 6 pitcher no-hitter

  6. Paul B on March 19th, 2013 7:26 pm

    Oh, right, I totally forgot that.

  7. texasmarinerfan on March 19th, 2013 7:30 pm

    And the Mariners new sluggers do what they do best: Strike out

  8. Westside guy on March 19th, 2013 7:46 pm

    Our two center fielders tried to get it going, but those DH types didn’t pick them up.

  9. Westside guy on March 19th, 2013 7:48 pm

    When Barry Zito hits you with a pitch, does it hurt?

  10. Paul B on March 19th, 2013 7:50 pm

    Nice baserunning by Miller.

  11. Westside guy on March 19th, 2013 7:50 pm

    Woo hoo! The veterans come through!

    Oh wait…

  12. kimalanus on March 19th, 2013 7:52 pm

    Westside, when it hits you on the elbow, it hurts. Enough that it’s possible he sits out for several days, or they make the decision to send him down now….

  13. Westside guy on March 19th, 2013 7:54 pm

    Zito! Plunk Jason Bay! I’ll give you 20 bucks!

  14. kimalanus on March 19th, 2013 8:00 pm

    Has to be on the elbow,, not many places going to linger as long. $50….

  15. Westside guy on March 19th, 2013 8:07 pm

    Watching Bay in the field is bringing back Alex Liddi flashbacks.

  16. Westside guy on March 19th, 2013 8:07 pm

    Wow Goldsmith really IS young.

  17. Westside guy on March 19th, 2013 8:08 pm

    I’m not sure Zito has that kind of control anymore, kimalanus!

  18. kimalanus on March 19th, 2013 8:13 pm

    ‘s a shame….

  19. Westside guy on March 19th, 2013 8:23 pm

    Franklin is looking good tonight!

  20. msfanmike on March 19th, 2013 8:56 pm

    Maurer is definitely not afraid to attack the strike zone. He works quickly, has a good fastball and a good breaking ball (slider). He kinda reminds me of Fister (in that he knows how to pitch) but with better velo.

    Also … Any bets on who develops a tight quad muscle and ends up on the DL before opening day, first? Wells or Bay? My money is on Wells. “Guti” responses will not be counted.

  21. Westside guy on March 19th, 2013 9:01 pm

    Hey Mike!

    I hadn’t considered the DL “solution” to their outfield problem…

  22. jordan on March 19th, 2013 9:09 pm

    So what’s up with Maurer’s prospect status now? I think he has to habe passed up Paxton now.

  23. Westside guy on March 19th, 2013 9:23 pm


  24. Westside guy on March 19th, 2013 9:26 pm

    In a logical world, Jordan, Maurer would open the season with the big club. But “logical” does not really go with “Mariners roster decisions”…

  25. msfanmike on March 19th, 2013 9:34 pm

    I think the DL “solution” is alive and well(s). Casper (even at this age) is still unproven. He has shown flashes, but has never been able to sustain it. The team gave him 35 ish straight starts last season with only moderate success. He is a half-tick away from being a productive all around player and he is a half-tick away in the other direction to being jobless in 3 seasons. He has had a meh Spring and Bay has probably surpassed him based on his past-past performance and his Spring to date. Wells doesn’t have a lot of trade value and the team can’t really afford to get rid of him because they need a quality defensive outfielder that they can reach out and grab in a hurry. I think “someone” is going to have to go on the DL in order to buy more time and to see what Bay actually has left.

    Just my opinion, though.

  26. Westside guy on March 19th, 2013 9:37 pm

    It seems like more of the young guys are wearing those new, safer “Great Gazoo” helmets this spring.

  27. Longgeorge1 on March 19th, 2013 9:39 pm

    Would the M’s cut J. Saunders if his last two outings don’t show improvement? Felix and Kuma are set. MoMO and Mauer have been next best. To me Beavan and Garland would be fighting for #5. Of course I’m halucinating as the M’s roster is set by the size of the contract not by ERA or WHIP or any other meaningful number.

  28. Westside guy on March 19th, 2013 9:49 pm

    Condor with a triple!

  29. Westside guy on March 19th, 2013 9:53 pm

    I can’t see this org cutting a gritty veteran pitcher they’ve guaranteed money to, personally.

  30. juneau_fan on March 19th, 2013 9:59 pm

    Yeah, Saunders starts on the opening day roster. *sigh*

  31. Westside guy on March 19th, 2013 10:01 pm

    Woo hoo! Mariners win!

  32. juneau_fan on March 19th, 2013 10:04 pm

    And defeat the world champions!

    Which ought to tell us something about spring training.

  33. bookbook on March 20th, 2013 5:57 am

    You have too much faith in spring performances, juneau. Saunders is one of the five best starters the M’s have right now.

  34. MarcS on March 20th, 2013 7:49 am

    “baseball-themed performance art”…brilliant.

  35. MKT on March 20th, 2013 10:10 am

    Yep, that’s one of the best phrases I’ve seen recently.

  36. Section329 on March 20th, 2013 2:09 pm

    Figgie released by Marlins, per Miami Herald. Guess he will have to scrape by on the M’s 8 million this year.

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