Fun (but no funny business) in the sun begins as Mariners hit the field

The Mariners’ pitchers and catchers are on the practice fields at the lower end of the complex, having stretched and loosened up their arms before breaking into groups for fielding practice.

Not sure I detected a certain “look in their eyes” after the morning meeting, although there does seem

to be a serious approach to the first few minutes of drills. Put it this way, a year ago before the first workout Mark Lowe accidentally kicked Shawn Kelley in the face, opening a cut that required stitches, during an idle moment of play. None of that going on so far.

A few observations:

• It’s interesting to see nearly a dozen of the early reporting position players also stretching with the pitchers and catchers. I can’t remember ever seeing outfielders and infielders in the pitcher-catcher stretching mix. But there they were in their own line — Dustin Ackley, Justin Smoak, Ryan Langerhans, Mike Wilson, Jack Wilson, Johermyn Chavez, Sean Kazmar, Matt Mangini, Michael Saunders and Alex Liddi.

• Everyone has reported except right-handed pitcher Yusmeiro Petit, a non-roster invitee who’s still in Venezuela because of visa issues.

• Pitching coach Carl Willis prefaced his pre-PFP (pitchers fielding practice) instructions to the guys by saying he understands there may be some confusion early and that some guys may wind up on the wrong field for drills. Then he made it simple for a certain group: “If you’re left-handed, you’re going to go to Field 4 for PFP.”

• Reliefer Shawn Kelley, who had elbow surgery late last season, threw some flat-ground pitches (more than a lob but less than full effort) to trainer Rob Nodine. The Mariners expect Kelley to be ready to pitch by June.

• Reporters learn quickly that when the players fan out to play catch, it’s wise not to stand directly behind them. These are major leaguers and they’re pretty accurate, but not always. And because they’re major leaguers, it can hurt to get plunked even when a guy is just loosening up. So I stayed clear.

• Speaking of getting plunked, there’s one pitcher I already would never want to hit me even when he’s warming up — non-roster right-hander Denny Bautista. The guy has an easy-going throwing motion, but there’s some serious sizzle when the ball leaves his hand, even when he’s just playing catch.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Glacier Peak's Aidan Davis is yells while being fouled by Mariner's Dakota Joseph during the game on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Associated Press high school basketball polls for Jan. 26

Six local teams are ranked in the top-10 of their respective classification. Four others received votes.

Prep results for Wednesday, Jan. 26

Prep results for Wednesday, Jan. 26: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Mariner's Naser Motley is able to get around Glacier Peak's Bobby Siebers to make a layup during the game on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Mariner boys beat GP in battle for 1st place atop Wesco 4A

The Marauders ride their defense to a 53-43 win over the No. 7-ranked Grizzlies in a key league clash.

LSU defensive lineman Ali Gaye celebrates after a turnover by Missouri during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)
Community roundup: E-W grad Gaye to return for final season at LSU

Also, nominations for the Snohomish County Sports Hall of Fame’s class of 2022 start Tuesday.

Prep results for Tuesday, Jan. 25

Prep results for Tuesday, Jan. 25: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Arlington’s Keira Marsh gos for a layup against Snohomish on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022 at Arlington High School. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Arlington girls fend off Snohomish in pivotal league showdown

The Eagles ride their defense to a 57-44 win over the Panthers in a clash of 3A state top-five teams.

Olen Zellweger
Tips prevail during light week despite being short-handed due to COVID

Three players tested positive for COVID before Everett’s only game, but the Tips still won 5-3.

Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for Jan. 17-23

The Athlete of the Week nominees for Jan. 17-23. Voting closes at… Continue reading

The Shorecrest bench reacts to a missed shot in the final seconds of regular time to send the game against Arlington to overtime on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021 in Arlington, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Wave of cancellations wreaking havoc on winter prep sports

‘It’s just been so hard’: Canceled games and program shutdowns have been commonplace for local teams.

Most Read