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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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March 24, 2008 1:01 PM

White Sox at Mariners: game thread

Posted by Geoff Baker

morse 012.jpg

Chicago White Sox (9-15-3):

38 Pablo Ozuna 2B
10 Alexei Ramirez CF
25 Jim Thome DH
14 Paul Konerko 1B
30 Nick Swisher LF
24 Joe Crede 3B
5 Juan Uribe SS
32 Brian Anderson RF
44 Toby Hall C
52 Jose Contreras RHP

Additional Pitchers:
53 D.J. Carrasco RHP
57 Boone Logan LHP

Mariners (9-14-2):

51 Ichiro Suzuki (L) CF
4 Jose Lopez 2B
28 Raul Ibanez (L) LF
44 Richie Sexson DH
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
6 Brad Wilkerson (L) RF
3 Jose Vidro (S) 1B
2 Kenji Johjima C
5 Yuniesky Betancourt SS
56 Jarrod Washburn LHP

Additional Pitchers:

18 Ryan Rowland-Smith LHP
33 Chris Reitsma RHP
48 Roy Corcoran RHP
53 Arthur Rhodes LHP
57 Mark Lowe RHP
59 Eric O'Flaherty LHP

We've posted a Sights and Sounds feature on Mike Morse doing infield and outfield work, the latter part with Jay Buhner. It's on the blog's index page. As with before, any comments about the video should go on that post, while any game/team/player related stuff should stay on this post so we can keep track of it all. I'll be continuing tro update from here the rest of the afternoon.

3:11 p.m.: Correction on that Chris Reitsma announcement. Eric O'Flaherty is now out to pitch the ninth, his team ahead 3-1. Last time he got a two-run lead to protect in the ninth, O'Flaherty yielded a tying homer to Chase Headley of the Giants. We'll see.

3:03 p.m.: Mark Lowe didn't do himself any favors to start the eighth inning when it comes to his chances of making the club. Lowe served up a 400-foot towering rocket to center by Nick Swisher on a 1-1 pitch to start things off. The ball eluded leaping center fielder Charlton Jimerson and became a triple. Lowe then yielded consecutive singles to get Chicago on the scoreboard. But Lowe did rebound a bit. With one out and runners on second and third, he struck out Biran Anderson. Pablo Ozuna then popped out to shortstop.

Remember, this was Lowe's second consecutive game. It's a test to see how he'd hold up during the regular season. A bit of a shaky outing. Chris Reitsma will work the ninth, then again tomorrow in a similar test.

Now a 3-1 game. Jarrod Washburn allowed just three hits over seven innings. Great day for him.

2:37 p.m.: Jarrod Washburn is back out to start the seventh inning, now leading 3-0 after the M's scored in the bottom of the sixth. Richie Sexson and Adrian Beltre led off with singles. After a Brad Wilkerson strikeout, Sexson took third on Jose Vidro's flyout to right. Sexson then scored when second baseman Pablo Ozuna couldn't come up with a Kenji Johjima smash -- ruled an infield single and an RBI.

Washburn had retired eight in a row before a Yuniesky Betancourt fielding error in the sixth. Betancourt has made four errors this spring. But Washburn erased the runner on a 5-4-3 double-play.

2:09 p.m.: Breezing right along here, still at 2-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth. Jarrod Washburn has retired seven in a row, while the Mariners haven't had a hit since the first inning. Washburn is getting an equal mix of groundouts, flyouts and strikeouts today, which is usually an indication he's bang-on. He'll be happy with today's work, I'm sure. One of the better performances by a Seattle starter in quite a while so far.

1:40 p.m.: Still a 2-0 game as we head to the bottom of the third. Jarrod Washburn has given up a hit per inning so far. But he bears down when he has to. Notched an inning-ending double-play grounder off Joe Crede in the second, then got a strikeout on Brian Anderson and a Pablo Ozuna groundout to end the third. Mariners went 1-2-3 in the second but are now up to bat in the third.

1:24 p.m.: Seattle scored a pair in the first to take a 2-0 lead. Ichiro greeted Chicago starter Jose Contreras (remember those debates last August?) with a double down the left field line. Jose Lopez then followed with an infield single on a hard smash that second baseman Pablo Ozuna had to dive for to knock down. Raul Ibanez the hit a ground-ruled double to right center to open the scoring. Richie Sexson followed with a hard shot to third base. Joe Crede looked like he'd have a play at the plate, but bobbled the ball and had to settle for throwing Sexson out a first. The run scored. A couple of us up in the pressbox nearly got taken out by a line drive after that one. Ryan Divish of the Tacoma Tribune, who supposedly played some college ball in Montana (make that North Dakota, sorry), did a masterful job of diving out of the way without knocking over the diet Pepsi can to his left. Well done.

1:13 p.m.: Another sloppy start, with Kenji Johjima failing to corral a foul pop-up near the visitors' dugout. Pablo Ozuna got an extra life and lined a single to center. But Jose Vidro helped erase that mistake by snaring an Alexei Ramirez liner at first base, then stepped on his bag to double-off Ozuna. Mariners starter Jarrod Washburn then struck out Jim Thome.

I see that Jose Lopez is again batting second in the order. This could be a preview of things to come. In fact, this entire lineup could be a preview of what to expect this season. We'll see. Lopez has looked more comfortable in the No. 2 spot.

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Posted by jujay

1:19 PM, Mar 24, 2008

there's a good start

Posted by reality3

1:40 PM, Mar 24, 2008

Sorry...posted this on the Morse post.
Geoff, saw an article in the S.D. Tribune dated 3/21 that mentioned a trade for Jeremy Reed to Padres to help deal with Edmonds situation. Does this story have any tread in M's camp?

Posted by Ziasudra

1:43 PM, Mar 24, 2008

Why are we keeping Corcoran around? I know he's pitched well this ST, but they can sort out if he goes to AAA of AA in the minor league camp. I thoght we needed innings to sort out those who will make opening day?
Lopez looks more and more like we can can Cairo.

Posted by scrapiron

1:48 PM, Mar 24, 2008

reality3 - Ken Rosenthal at also mentioned the Padres interest in Reed. Basically they are looking in house at Jody Gerut as a replacement for Jim Edmonds, but if he struggles they are supposedly interested in Reed.

Posted by reality3

1:58 PM, Mar 24, 2008

Reed just seems like he would be a better Nat'l League guy than american. Potential .275 hitter and above avg. defense. M's clearly are not going to use him. I think he earned some trade value back this spring. Get something for him now.

Posted by markus

2:22 PM, Mar 24, 2008

It is a joke that Cairo was expected to push Lopez. That's like signing Jay Drunkenmiller to push Steve Young. If you are serious about pushing guys, then push them to the point where they think they might actually have a chance to lose their job. But in Seattle, pushing a guy means mentioning for three months that they might get dropped in the order, then for a season about sitting them down for a spell, and then after two years of that sitting them down for two days and then putting them back in the order. Keeping Cairo is ridiculous, we don't need two Willies!

Cut Cairo! Stop the madness!!

Posted by Chris from Bothell

2:44 PM, Mar 24, 2008

"In fact, this entire lineup could be a preview of what to expect this season."

Um... really? Vidro at 1st? Richie at DH? Richie batting 4th?

Posted by oregongal

3:02 PM, Mar 24, 2008

Chris, does that surprise you? I would expect the Vidro/Sexson field positions to change, but Richie's job is to bat 4th. How many times did we hear last year that he can carry this team on his back? How many chances did he get to do it?

Frankly, since Richie's the elephant in the room (or the open-domed stadium) here, I'd just as soon start with his feet to the flame and see if he can do it. If so, great. If not, get him out of there in a few weeks instead of lots of months.

Posted by reality3

3:16 PM, Mar 24, 2008

Just an observation, but maybe they are planning on keeping Reed. They keep substituting him in the late inning sfor Ibanez or Ichiro. He is the 2nd best defensive outfielder on the team. and is hitting .318. I don't know why you would'nt have a bench player that is a better defensive option??? Maybe Reed will be there. Who knows? Jimerson has to be gone. He can't hit a lick and everyone knows it. Reed is a better hitter with more MLB experience.

Posted by Nat

3:22 PM, Mar 24, 2008

I have the same take, oregongal, i.e., to let Richie bat 4th and see what happens. Give him a month and see whether he can help shoulder the load which would really be something since when he's healthy he doesn't usually play well til the 2nd half.

I hope Lowe's pitching yesterday and today has sufficiently convinced the powers that be to keep him up and send Rietsma down. I agree with what everyone has been saying about bumping Cairo. The trouble is what seems so totally obvious to most fans - at least on this blog - isn't always the way the FO sees and thus, the frustration.

Posted by AKMarinersFan

3:35 PM, Mar 24, 2008

I think Ichiro purposely didn't get hits at the start of spring training so he could spot Vidro 22 AB's and still end up with a higher batting average. So is it safe to say if Vidro is hitting .184 that he doesn't bring a lot of value to the team. Or is still a "professional hitter"

Posted by AKMarinersFan

3:36 PM, Mar 24, 2008

Reed was hitless again. Why do they keep this guy around?

Posted by markus

3:37 PM, Mar 24, 2008

Yes, Vidro is still a professional hitter because "he'll give you what he's always given you" even if he hasn't given it for a while.

Posted by reality3

3:44 PM, Mar 24, 2008 might want to check a box score now and then. If you did, you would know that Reed didn't have any at AB's and hasn't for a few games.

Posted by markus

3:50 PM, Mar 24, 2008

huh? I didn't say anything about Reed getting ABs

Posted by reality3

3:50 PM, Mar 24, 2008

My apologies markus! I meant AKMarinersFan. I should take my own advice and pay better attention to who posted the comment. Seriously though. The box score will tell you who got AB's.

Posted by AKMarinersFan

3:52 PM, Mar 24, 2008

reality3 - actually it was I that made the sarcastic comment (I know its going to surprise people). What I was getting at was Reed wasn't give a chance to make this team. He ranks 19th on the team as far as AB's during spring training. Reed has 22 AB's compared to the 51 that Cairo has had.

It makes no sense. Even if they don't want him on the team they should be trying to showcase him for a trade. Dumb!

Posted by jujay

3:53 PM, Mar 24, 2008

reality3- ignore AK...he's trying to prove another one of his points...

Posted by markus

3:55 PM, Mar 24, 2008

that's cool. I think it's obvious that they aren't serious about giving Reed a look, since he hasn't gotten any ABs lately. Kind of sucky, because he would be nice to keep around for OF defense off the bench, then keep Morse as a backup IF and keep someone like Jimerson or Norton, and then let Willie have his legacy seat on the bench.

Posted by markus

3:56 PM, Mar 24, 2008

Cut Cairo!

Sorry, I forgot to add it on the end, in case someone isn't sure of my stance on the Cairo sucks issue.

Posted by reality3

3:59 PM, Mar 24, 2008 doesn't matter I guess. It just seems to me that Reed is a "convenient" insurance policy to them. Why would you not keep Reed as the defensive replacement. Like he said in his interview a few weeks ago, "I have nothing left to prove in the minors". I think we can all agree on that. Morse has NO business fielding a fly ball. He can play DH, 1B or 3B now and then. Reed is clearly the 4th outfielder in my opinion.

Posted by AKMarinersFan

4:10 PM, Mar 24, 2008

Morse, Reed, Willie (if it makes people happy) and Burke. Add Norton if we have a 5 man bench. It would be nice to have Jimerson to pitchrun.

Posted by steve

4:10 PM, Mar 24, 2008

I don't think Wilkerson should be starting in the outfield. Balentien should be in his place. We'd save $2.5 million What is the use of a left-handed bat with those numbers? Sorry to be so harsh, I just don't get it. Save some money, give Balentien a chance. Wilkerson's numbers are not worth 3 million bucks. Left handed, .234 at 3 million or 'DEFT' handed, .260-300 for 400 g's? Save some money and spend it on keeping Kenji.

Posted by markus

4:26 PM, Mar 24, 2008

Sorry Steve, that's not how the M's work. Why spend less money on a kid that can do the same thing as a vet when the vet will cost you way more? To the M's, vets=consistency, but they don't understand that crappy consistency=crappy results. I agree completely with you, and that's what's frustrating about this team.

Cut Cairo! Free the kids!

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