Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
February 29, 2008 8:08 AM
Posted by Jose Romero
Hello Mariners fans (Saludos aficionados de los Marineros)...
So here I am filling in for the esteemed Geoff Baker, who has delighted us all with his insight and one-liners. After a one-day tutorial on how to step in for greatness, here I am in Peoria manning my post on the Mariners blog. All hands on deck.
I'll soon be on my way to Scottsdale, where the Mariners and SF Giants officially open the spring training schedule this afternoon. You all know that Erik Bedard is starting today, and isn't expected to throw more than 30 pitches. I'll fill everyone in as to Bedard's progress in a game thread this afternoon on the blog.
Manager John McLaren told reporters this morning that Bedard, while quiet and a reluctant star, is blending in well with teammates.
"He's a hard worker. Takes practice fielding drills," McLaren said. "I like to peel off and watch the PFP (pitcher fielding practice) and those guys have been competing. They have a little game among themselves and they have fun with it. They try to outdo the other group and it's good when your better pitchers set the standard. He's out there and he's trying to be the best he can. He's got a lot of pride in what he does. You like to see that."
McLaren had somewhat of an update on pitchers Chris Reitsma, Mark Lowe and Arthur Rhodes, who are all returning from arm surgeries:
"They've made real good progress. I think they are getting closer and closer... I know they are throwing the ball extremely well. I don't know if I want to say they are ahead of schedule, but they've left a nice impression with Mel, all of them, all three."
That being pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre. None of the three are game-ready yet.
OK, last thing -- here's the M's starting lineup for Game One of Spring Training 2008:
1. Miguel Cairo 2B
2. Jeremy Reed CF
3. Raul Ibanez LF
4. Richie Sexson 1B
5. Greg Norton DH
6. Kenji Johjima C
7. Wladimir Balentien RF
8. Matt Tuiasosopo 3B
9. Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Bedard vs. Tim Lincecum, RHP (San Francisco)
Other M's scheduled pitchers (after Bedard departs):
RHP Cha Seung Baek, LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith, LHP Jake Woods, RHP Sean Green, LHP Cesar Jimenez, LHP Philip Barzilla
That's all for now..I'll post again during the game.