The Most Photographed Cactus League Game in America: Mariners at Reds

marc w · March 25, 2013 at 12:05 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Brandon Maurer vs. Homer Bailey, 1:05pm

I don’t know, but it’d be a better choice than photographing yesterday’s ugly affair against the D-Backs. Sure, Salt River Fields is the jewel of Arizona complexes, but Joe Saunders and a still-recovering Wade Miley? No, much better to focus on this match-up between the most intriguing prospect of 2012 and Homer Bailey, the guy who now acts as an object lesson in not giving up on pitching prospects. Maybe there’s no such thing as a pitching prospect, but Bailey teaches us that there’s no such thing as an ex-pitching prospect. There’s lots of philosophical work to be done here, but Bailey’s is a strong and important critique of the dominant theory.

Maurer’s path to the starting rotation obviously got a bit easier with the release of Jon Garland and the growing consensus that Erasmo Ramirez won’t start the year in the rotation. We learned a little something about the fallibility of growing consensii over the weekend, but still: why would you have a guy start making short relief appearances a week before the season? Anyway, the competition behind Felix, Iwakuma and Saunders seems like it’s down to Bonderman, Maurer, and Beavan. Maurer’s certainly had consistent results, though his velocity dropped a bit in his last start. That may have been because he threw a lot more two-seam fastballs (he reported he didn’t have a good feel for the four-seamer), but it’d be nice to hear that he’s back up in the 92-93 range today.

Jesus Montero returns to the starting line-up at catcher – it’s nice to see that scary bat-to-the-head incident hasn’t sidelined him, and that the M’s were able to rule out a concussion so quickly.

1: Saunders, CF
2: Andino, 3B
3: Ibanez, DH
4: Smoak, 1B
5: Seager, 2B
6: Montero, C
7: Bay, RF
8: Wells, LF
9: Ryan, SS
SP: Maurer


17 Responses to “The Most Photographed Cactus League Game in America: Mariners at Reds”

  1. maqman on March 25th, 2013 12:20 pm

    I guess they still need to keep running Wells out there to see if they can drum up a trade for him. It would help if gets a hit or two for a change. With or without hits his Ms days are dwindling down it would seem.

  2. okinawadave on March 25th, 2013 1:04 pm

    Love your writing, Marc!

  3. MrZDevotee on March 25th, 2013 1:57 pm

    This isn’t a knock on you so much as simply pointing out we really have no idea what the team is doing:

    I can’t reconcile the idea that if Ramirez is not starting in the Cactus League, it means he’s probably destined for the bullpen… But if Wells IS starting a Cactus League game, it means he’s gone and not making the team, but inexplicably we’d rather run him out there instead of the guy who presumably IS making the team and should be getting more time in the field.

    I think we’re in for some more surprises this week.

    (A’la Endy Chavez, who I didn’t see as having an impact on Wells at all, but just being depth because we don’t have anyone at Tacoma I’d feel comfortable calling up to play the outfield in meaningful games if it was necessary. If anything that move told me that some folks here think we can win some games this year, and they want REAL major league depth, instead of just kids.)

  4. MrZDevotee on March 25th, 2013 2:20 pm

    I’m LOVING Maurer… This is a fun story… Kid has thrown FOUR BALLS through 3 innings, 22 pitches total, and has given up four hits, and zero runs, striking out 5.

    5 K’s in 22 pitches. 9 outs in 22 pitches.

    It’s fun to have a prospect discover himself and blossom. Great story for Hultzen, Paxton and Walker to watch, too.

    He’s feelin’ it.

  5. Westside guy on March 25th, 2013 2:29 pm

    I’m concerned that Bay’s average is tanking so quickly, now that he faces real MLB pitchers. Or maybe I’m not – maybe Wedge and Z will realize that the guy is washed up… but no, Wedge probably figures the hot hitting against AA pitchers was the REAL Jason Bay, and this is just a slump he’ll pull out of at any moment.

  6. HighlightsAt11 on March 25th, 2013 2:35 pm

    Something has to give in the outfield soon. Has the “collective-consensus-guesstimate” come down to keeping Bay vs keeping Wells? Would such a decision likely be made before breaking camp or after Salt Lake?

    Drayer seems to think Erasmo will be sent to Tacoma to do his ‘stretching out’ or ‘building up’ as a starter.

  7. Westside guy on March 25th, 2013 2:39 pm

    I think that’s what people figure. And while we all seem to agree that spring training numbers don’t matter, it’s not like Wells is doing much to force the team to rethink it’s “we loves us some veterans” mentality, unfortunately.

  8. Westside guy on March 25th, 2013 3:01 pm

    I don’t like it when Rizz co-opts Neihaus’ grand slam call…

  9. deadmanonleave on March 25th, 2013 3:01 pm

    Hmmm- wonder if Jesus will need a while to get back to his best after the bang on the head? lol

  10. Westside guy on March 25th, 2013 3:03 pm

    Yeah, maybe they need to whap him in the head with a bat every week or so!

  11. deadmanonleave on March 25th, 2013 3:05 pm

    Is there a mercy rule in Spring Training? lol

  12. Westside guy on March 25th, 2013 3:17 pm

    Of course as soon as I start trash talking Bay, he gets two hits!

  13. deadmanonleave on March 25th, 2013 3:18 pm

    We have a phrase this side of the Atlantic…even a stopped clock is right twice a day!

  14. MrZDevotee on March 25th, 2013 4:22 pm

    Not if it’s digital and you unplug it! (Not sure what the correlation to baseball is, but there has to be an analogy in there somewhere. Maybe if the “gritty veterans” have pacemakers?)

  15. snowbuffalo on March 25th, 2013 6:22 pm

    Nice reference to DeLillo’s White Noise and the Most Photographed Barn in America.

  16. casey on March 25th, 2013 6:40 pm

    All spring the talk has been about the veterans. But you know the last week I have been thinking a lot about the young bats:

    Mike Saunders – I am just seeing a breakout season part 2. Could see average getting into .260+ and can see 25/25 homers and steals as long as he doesn’t platoon too much with Bay

    Jesus Montero – nice show today. As a hitter he reminds me of the Indians Carlos Santana – he is going to be a nice #6 hole hitter this year.

    Dustin Ackley – he is still the most dangerous hitter when I see him play. Capable of a lot of line drives and gap power. Just such an offensive asset for a secondbaseman.

    Kyle Seager – just a consistent bat, don’t think he is a star but nice #2 or #7 hitter.

    Justin Smoak – biggest unknown going into the season but even 60-75% of the hitter he as been this spring. Going to have a short leash this spring and not all the young guys are going to work out but such a tease is September and March.

    I know rose colored 16-0 glasses but it was our young guns today not Ibanez, Bay, Morales, or Morse that created the offence vs. a very good starting pitcher in Homer Bailey.

  17. Paul B on March 25th, 2013 7:50 pm

    Did that game actually happen?

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