By Shannon Drayer
PEORIA, Ariz. – After a very busy weekend with day/night split-squads and day games after night games, the Mariners finally get a night game after a day game, which means everyone gets the morning off. So in other words, a quiet morning in Peoria.
Tuesday night was anything but quiet at the Salty Senorita, however, where we saw our largest crowd in recent memory turn out to watch “The Cactus League Report”. If you missed it, never fear, we have a podcast.
Justin Smoak kicked off the show and talked about his focus and approach and what he believes he was doing wrong from the right side last year. He also talks about the impact of having Robinson Cano not just in the clubhouse but in his hitting group, too.
Dustin Ackley was up next and said something that caught my ear. Ackley had offseason ankle surgery in the fall of 2012. I never factored that into what we saw in 2013. I am not making excuses for him but he didn’t have a normal offseason. He spent a good amount of the offseason rehabbing rather than getting ready for the season. This last offseason was completely devoted to getting ready rather than getting healthy. There is a difference.
Danny Farquhar and Lucas Luetge joined us next and as expected from anyone from the bullpen we got a good mix of stories and pitching. Bench coach Trent Jewett was up next and we learned a little bit more about him and what it was like to coach with Lloyd McClendon in his earliest days as a manager. Stefen Romero, who is having a great spring, followed and we closed the show out with a chat with new Tacoma News Tribune beat writer Bob Dutton and a interview Rick Rizzs had with Peter Gammons.