PEORIA, Ariz. – With the Dominican Republic’s elimination from the World Baseball Classic on Saturday night, Mariners camp will start to better resemble the squad that we can expect to see in 2017. With an off-day Monday and a night game Tuesday, Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz and Jean Segura should get good rest before hitting the field once again in Mariners uniforms.
“Obviously these games are high intensity and very emotional, but I think it is important to get them back in routine and back in our clubhouse and get ready to go,” said Mariners manager Scott Servais on Sunday morning.
Cano and Cruz had been playing regularly at the WBC but Segura started just two games and had 11 at-bats in the tournament, as the priority seemed to be getting Jose Reyes and Adrian Beltre into lineups. The decision may have been costly for the DR as Beltre, coming off an early spring training muscle strain, had just one hit in the tournament. Segura had much better success but now needs to make up some of the at-bats he missed.
“We need to get him in there a little more and get him more regular work,” Servais said. “I will talk to them – I think that’s really important, especially with our team. Those guys are really honest; they know themselves and part of my job is to listen. Good feedback from them and we will get a plan laid out.”
The Mariners do have a plan for starting pitcher Felix Hernandez, who has yet to arrive back in camp. He is scheduled to start Thursday against the Giants.
Lineup vs Rangers
Guillermo Heredia, CF
Taylor Motter, LF
Mitch Haniger, RF
Danny Valencia, 3B
Daniel Vogelbach, 1B
Tyler O’Neill, DH
Tuffy Gosewisch, C
Mike Freeman, 2B
Tyler Smith, SS
Dillon Overton, LHP
Also scheduled to pitch: Mark Rzepczynski, Micah Owings, Casey Fien, Nick Hagadone and Dean Kiekhefer.
• Rather than face the division-rival Rangers, starting pitcher James Paxton will throw in a minor-league game on Field 3 in Peoria at 1:00 p.m. Sunday. Drew Smyly and Yovani Gallardo will throw in minor-league games, both in Peoria, on Tuesday and Wednesday.
• With the return of the WBC players, and all but one of the split-squad days behind them, more roster cuts were made Sunday morning with the following five players assigned to minor-league camp:
RHP Christian Bergman
RHP Andrew Moore
RHP Max Povse
RHP Ryan Weber
C Steve Baron