Spring training begins for the Mariners this coming Monday when the pitchers and catchers report. They take their physicals on Monday and begin throwing on Tuesday. The positions players will report the following Friday.
For all who are thinking of going to spring training to see these new players wouldn’t be a bad idea with the snow, we have right now and it is expected for the rest of next week.
Of course, everyone will be familiar with Felix Hernandez who is in the last year of his contract and there is the third baseman Kyle Seager as well. Depending on their success this coming season this could be the last we see both of them. Felix Hernandez could be gone by the all-star break if he isn’t performing well and Seager could be if he is. Hernandez could be released by then while Seager would be traded. This certainly leaves us with less familiar faces but I am sure we know more of the newer faces by then.
Felix Hernandez is released to add another pitcher on the roster who is doing well in the minor leagues or they have picked up during the season. It would primarily deal with his performance.
Kyle Seager being traded would not be his performance only but that of the team. If the Mariners are doing better than expected they could hold onto him otherwise send him to another team that is vying for a playoff spot at the trading deadline. At that point who would be playing third base?
The Mariners could trade DH Edwin Encarnacion this coming week well as during spring training or the season. Veteran outfielder-first baseman Jay Bruce could go through the same thing though likely later on but with Jerry Dipoto would not surprise us.
Bruce being traded might depend on how the other outfielders are doing during training camp as well as first baseman/dh Dan Vogelbach. Speaking of Vogelbach he is out of options so the Mariners have to keep, trade, or release him. I am sure the Mariners will give him every chance to succeed.
There will be other interesting things happening during spring training as well. I will keep you up to date. The first spring game will happen on February 21 against the Oakland A’s. Sort of interesting I say because the Mariners have started the spring against the San Diego Padres for years.
The Mariners regular season starts one month later on March 20 in Tokyo, Japan against the Oakland A’s in a two-game series. They play a couple of exhibition games beforehand on March 16 and 18. We will likely see Ichiro on the roster as well. The Mariners are allowed to expand the roster to 28 players while in Japan. I am sure we won’t see Ichiro on the roster when they return to Seattle to play the Boston Red Sox on March 28.
I am sure left-handed pitcher Yusei Kikuchi the Mariners signed out of Japan on January 2 will appear in at least one game over in Japan. It will be interesting to see how he does through spring training as well as Felix Hernandez. Go M’s.
Oh yes for those in Western Washington stay warm OK.