Cactus League, Yet Again: Mariners at Angels
Roenis Elias vs. CJ Wilson, 1:05pm
The M’s start Cuban lefty Roenis Elias in order to avoid Scott Baker make three starts against the Angels in quick succession. You can never be too careful, I suppose. CJ Wilson just pitched against the M’s, so that whole “You can never be too careful” thing isn’t a hard and fast rule that all teams accept.
1: Almonte, CF
2: Seager, 3B
3: Hart, DH
4: Smoak, 1B
5: Saunders, RF
6: Ackley, LF
7: Zunino, C
8: Miller, SS
9: Bloomquist, 2B
Bloomquist makes another start while Robinson Cano attends to “personal business” in the Dominican Republic. Not sure what that business is, and I have no interest in speculating, but he’s worked around whatever it was that forced him to fly home in the middle of spring training AND he’s missed some games with a root canal. It’s been a rough spring, and through it all he’s shown some leadership and continued to show that he’s one of the best hitters in the game. At some point in the regular season, he’s going to be slow running out a grounder and some people will point to it and say, “there it is – we warned you.” But running out grounders, no matter what people say, isn’t an end in itself. It’s supposed to be a sign of something more malignant, more important. It’s virtually impossible to take much from spring training and watching the few games that we get to see on TV, but everything we’ve seen so far would seem to indicate that sometimes not running out infield pops ISN’T indicative of a me-first attitude, or a complete lack of interest in the game or leadership in general.
The biggest story of the day was Taijuan Walker’s successful bullpen. The M’s are still bringing him along slowly, but at least Walker himself felt like he was ahead of where he expected to be. At this point, it’s looking more and more likely that Walker will be able to return to game action in April.