And then there was one. One last game in the Arizona sun, one last game of numbers that don’t count, then ready or not, here they come.
While Scott Servais said he realized he would need to take a step back to fully evaluate the spring – what worked, what didn’t – he believes the Ts were crossed and the Is dotted.
“I had some personal goals coming in where we wanted to get accomplished and I feel good about getting those things done,” the Mariners manager said. “But there’s always things that maybe you look back and maybe you could have done this or that.”
Bottom line is the hitters got their at-bats, the pitchers got their innings. Any further adjustments will take place under the lights in front of bigger crowds with more on the line.
The regulars are in the lineup Saturday, a lineup that Servais said is pretty close to what we should see Opening Day. I would expect them to get just one or two at-bats on this getaway day.
Nori Aoki, LF
Kyle Seager, 3B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nelson Cruz, RF
Adam Lind, 1B
Franklin Gutierrez, DH
Ketel Marte, SS
Chris Iannetta, C
Leonys Martin, CF
Nathan Karns, P
Who will hit second has been one of the big questions this spring, and Servais shed more light on that Saturday morning say that he did like Seager in the two spot against right-handed pitching. He did point out that Seager at two could be problematic later in games, though, with three lefties (Aoki, Seager and Cano) at the top of the order. He did say that Marte would hit second against lefties, while against righties, “We will wait and see.”
Marte moving in the right direction
Overall, Servais has been very happy with what he has seen from Marte.
“Ketel Marte had a very nice spring,” he said. “I think it is a young player maturing physically as well as mentally.”
Toward the end of camp Marte made an adjustment with his throwing mechanics that Servais believes could benefit him both defensively and offensively.
“I think he feels very comfortable and confident with it,” he said. “It’s crazy, some guys swing the bat and play better defense, some guys get comfortable defensively and all of a sudden they start swinging the bat better offensively.”
There’s no question Marte has opened the new eyes on him this spring.
• Servais has Franklin Gutierrez in at DH to give him a bit of a break, something we should see during the season as well. “We want to be sensitive to his situation, want to keep him fresh as the season goes,” Servais said of Gutierrez, who has ankylosing spondylitis. “And Nelson needs to play in the outfield too.”
• The team will hold a workout at Globe Life Park in Arlington on Sunday ahead of Opening Day against the Rangers.
• Major League rosters are due to be submitted no later than 9 a.m. Sunday.
• Seth Smith was a scratch from the lineup for a second straight day as he deals with a very slight right groin issue. If these had been regular season games he would have played and he should be good to go Monday.