The Seattle Mariners are putting the final touches on a spring training schedule that will have a different look than past years.
The World Baseball Classic, which will run March 5-23, has created a wrinkle on several fronts. Spring training games will begin earlier than usual and run later; the WBC will keep players out of camp part of the time (remember Ichiro Suzuki two years ago?); and there will be more days off during spring training.
The Mariners could play their first exhibition as early as Feb. 24 (compared with Feb. 28 this year), and the spring games will run about a week later than usual. The Mariners, who begin the regular season April 6 at Minnesota, may play their final Arizona exhibition as late as April 2.
As of now, the Mariners will have one day off each week during spring training compared with the usual one off day the entire six weeks. They may, however, add games to fill some of those days off.
The Cactus League will have a new look with the addition of the Dodgers and Indians, who are moving their camps to Arizona from Florida. That should be a treat for Mariners fans because both new spring training facilities will be within a short drive of the M’s complex in Peoria, Ariz.
The Dodgers will train at a new complex in Glendale, Ariz., just a few miles south of the Mariners’ complex in Peoria, and the Indians have moved their training camp to a newly opened facility a few miles farther southwest in Goodyear, Ariz. The White Sox will leave Tucson to share the complex with the Dodgers.
Multi-faceted Truinfel: Carlos Truinfel is the Mariners’ best shortstop prospect, but he’s also playing second and third base for the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League.
No, the Mariners aren’t converting him to a new position.
Because Truinfel isn’t classified as a “priority” player with the Javelinas, he doesn’t have an opportunity to play shortstop on a regular basis.
The Mariners are more interested in having Truinfel get regular at-bats, so they’re fine with him playing second and third.
“To get his at-bats, he’s going to have to play around the infield,” said Greg Hunter, the Mariners’ minor league director. “There’s a chance he’ll play one of those three spots when he gets to the big leagues, but right now the most important thing is that he gets his at-bats.”
Entering Friday night’s game at Scottsdale, Truinfel was batting .333 with three doubles, one home run and five RBI. He’d hit safely in all seven games.
Mariners outfield prospect Greg Halman was batting .321 with one homer and five RBI, and catcher Rob Johnson had a .158 average in five games. Johnson was a late addition to the Peoria roster after catcher Adam Moore, who was scheduled to play in the fall league, suffered a broken finger on the final day of the regular season.
Right-handed pitcher Stephen Kahn had pitched two scoreless innings, right-hander Gaby Hernandez had a 3.00 ERA in three innings, right-hander Doug Fister a 3.60 ERA in five innings and right-hander Joe Woerman a 6.00 ERA and a 1-1 record in three innings. Woerman was born in Edmonds in 1982 before his family moved away when he was a baby.
Of note: The Mariners, who traveled about 55,000 miles this year, may remain kings of the road in 2009 but their schedule won’t be quite as difficult. Ron Spellecy, the Mariners’ director of team travel, said they will fly between 47,000 and 48,000 miles. … The nonprofit Mariners Care foundation and its corporate partners raised more than $1 million for the ninth straight year. Mariners Care brought in $1,022,829 for charities.
Read Kirby Arnold’s blog on the Mariners at www.heraldnet.com