Only two days remain before the Mariners take the field for their first spring training face-off with the Padres. Here are some of the latest developments from camp:
Taijuan Walker throws first live batting practice, unveils new curve — Larry Stone provides some insights on the 20-year-old prospect’s new pitch, something called a “spike curve.” While none of his BP pitches were tossed into the Peoria parking lot, Walker will be honing in on his command as the year wears on.
Shawn Kelley Traded to Yankees for OF Abe Almonte — U.S.S. Mariner delves into the Mariners’ latest acquisition, providing us a little backstory and analysis for Abe Almonte.
Mariners’ Kyle Seager ready for increased expectations — Seager explains the difficulties many Mariners players had with Safeco Field last year, as well as necessary adjustments he’s making to improve before Opening Day. Although he led the team in home runs last year, Shannon Drayer relayed the following quote: “Seager sees himself as more of a average/doubles type of player.”
A closer look at the off-season training done by Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak — On Monday, Eric Wedge told Geoff Baker that Justin Smoak would be the starting first baseman for the Mariners, barring “something drastic.” To prepare for the role—and keep the level of production he sustained in September 2012—Smoak is working closely with his agent, Hunter Bledsoe. While part of his training is devoted to making minute changes in his mechanics, a big part of the adjustments will be mental.
Risky Business – In light of Felix’s contract, Marc Normandin lists the pros and cons of signing the King to such a lengthy, expensive extension. Don’t be fooled by the title: there’s much to be excited about here.
Felix Hernandez’s Velocity — Fangraphs’ Bill Petti runs through the warning signs of injury and velocity loss in light of Felix’s new deal with the Mariners. Historically speaking, the chance of Hernandez handing Seattle 28 WAR over his seven-year contract does not seem likely.
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