Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
February 19, 2008 1:13 PM
Posted by Geoff Baker
We're focusing heavily on the catchers today. You'll see them working the normal bullpen session to start off, with Rob Johnson taking some sliders. The next shot will be of Jeff Clement trying to handle an R.A. Dickey knuckler. Not an easy task. Once Clement retrieves the ball, Dickey finishes off with a fastball. Much easier. You hear Dickey tell him "Thanks!'' at the end. Dickey sounds almost apologetic that catchers have to handle his stuff. They have a short conference when it's done.
Mariners manager John McLaren likes to work with catchers, both as a group and one-on-one. You'll see him offering some words to the catchers as they practice blocking pitches in the dirt and preventing the ricochet from getting away from them. These aren't fastballs they're taking. There is a lot of spin on these particular offerings.
One of you asked me a couple of days ago how Mark Lowe was feeling this spring compared to late last year. I put the question to him and you can hear his answer on the video. There is some footage of pitchers' fielding practice. Later on, you'll see Willie Bloomquist and Miguel Cairo signing autographs. Then, there is an interesting segment with clubhouse attendant Chris DeWitt, a batboy the past two years who is in his first season in his new job. Ever wonder who scrapes all the mud off player spikes at the end of each workout session? You guessed it. Sounds like a "rookie" job to me. But somebody's got to do it. DeWitt is an avid reader of this blog, by the way.
Look at who just walked in here for his 2 p.m. physical.