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Mariners notebook: Newcomer Mitch Haniger off to a strong start

PEORIA, Ariz. – Who has stood out the most so far in Mariners camp, beyond expectations, to the skipper?

Mitch Haniger,” Scott Servais said without hesitation in his Thursday morning media session. “Very very professional approach. He has a plan. Every time he is in the outfield, he is on the bases, he is in the batters box, it is a very professional approach. He knows this is his time. He is going to get an opportunity to play here; he’s worked for it his whole life. We are going to give it to him and let it run. He’s taken it very very seriously.

“I like what I have seen. It is very impressive.”

• With the arrival of Leonys Martin on Wednesday, the Mariners now have their full spring training roster in camp.

It was interesting to hear Martin talk about his offseason work and note that he made the trip to the Dominican Republic to work out with Robinson Cano. Jean Segura was also there working with Cano, who by all appearances, could start a side business as an offseason hitting coach.

Servais sees an added benefit to the offseason work.

“The guys listen (to Cano) because of the track record. They are going to respect him because of what he has done,” Servais said. “The thing that excites me about that is that the guys are actually working out together. Leonys gets on a plane and flies to the Dominican. Robbie is there, Segura is there. That’s team. That’s working together.”

• While some in baseball are howling at the new rule that will eliminate the automatic walk, Servais has no problem with it.

“I’m in favor of it,” he said. “Little things like that, I think that’s the way our game is going. Our society is changing. We move faster, quicker, have less time for everything. I get the history of the game and how it needs to be played out, but the game has gotten a little longer. I’m fine with that and I am sure there will be some other changes that come down the road.”

Servais does not want to see baseball try to control the number of mound visits made by managers or pitching coaches but said he would be OK with a pitch clock.

• On Wednesday it was the starters throwing their first live batting-practice sessions. The relievers get their turn Thursday morning with Nick Vincent, Thyago Vieira, Marc Rzepcynski, Max Povse and Dan Altavilla among the Mariners who will face Mariners.

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