By Shannon Drayer
A few notes from a full day of baseball for the Mariners. Because of the rain Friday the team played a B game against the Padres at the stadium in Peoria. While stats aren’t official from the B game, the Mariners beat the Padres 6-3.
The first bit of news from that game was Casper Wells was a scratch with neck stiffness. I saw him in the clubhouse later in the day and it didn’t look too serious. Tough to miss days no doubt while he is swinging a hot bat.
On that note, the guy who most likely is Wells’ competition for a final spot in the lineup, Jason Bay, hit a 3 run home run in the B game. That was not the highlight of that game however. No, the highlight would be the Jesus Montero triple. Yes. You read that correctly.
Unfortunately to my knowledge the only video proof that this actually happened is the in house video from the centerfield view which is focused on the pitching and not the base running. Regardless, I saw it with my own eyes and for the record, no outfielders got hurt. It was a legitimate triple that split the center and right fielders and hit off the bottom of the wall. Montero was running all the way.
“I was thinking (triple) all the time but they were like (cheering him on),” Montero said with a smile. “I was having fun. I haven’t had a triple in a long time, 3 or 4 years, so I had a little fun. Everybody was laughing.”
Montero, who has never hit a triple in the majors will take any triple. Even one in a B game.
“I am really just happy to hit the triple. It is so hard for me. I was like go. See what happens. It was like a dream for me,” he said.
Montero also had some thoughts on Joe Saunders who he caught.
“He was throwing the ball good, inside, both sides of the plate,” he said of Saunders who gave up two earned runs. “This is practice games, we were working on some things. I know the season will be different.”
I asked with what he knew of Saunders and what he had seen to date, just what he thought he would bring to the rotation.
“He don’t throw that hard, he has just got to move the ball around,” said Montero. “He hits his spots, that’s why he is really good at it. He gets a lot of outs. I think everybody thinks like ‘oh, I am going to get this guy,’ but he knows where to throw the ball and that is how he gets outs.”
After the B game we ran into Stefen Romero coming out of the training room. While he said he is not in any pain other than a little soreness he admitted that suffering an oblique injury the day after driving in seven runs was a blow.
“It’s so surreal going from cloud nine to just about the bottom,” he said. “But I have just got to take it day by day and continue to get better and focus on positive thoughts. Everything happens for a reason.”
Romero said he felt “a little tweak” on the curve he struck out on yesterday and that he has never had an oblique issue before. After the A game Eric Wedge said it looked like he would be out for awhile and that he took time to have a talk with Romero.
“It’s tough for a young man to have to go through something like that but we all have to do it. I told him it is just a bump in the road,” said Wedge who clearly has been impressed by what he has seen from Romero.
“He’s in great shape, great attitude, great persona, good baseball player. Probably coming off the best day he’s had. It’s unfortunate but he will be back sooner than later.”
Obliques can be tricky so the Mariners most likely will err on the side of caution with Romero who has the potential to be help when healthy. No need to rush now however, as there really is no available position for him at this time.
Finally there was the A game against the Dodgers. Jon Garland pitched well giving up just one earned run on two hits and one walk. After the game Garland said that he this year is very different for him having to compete for a spot and dealing with pitching for the first time since his shoulder surgery. That said, he is encouraged by how his shoulder has responded and said that with each outing he feels stronger and better between starts.
The team lost the game 3-2 and saw their home run streak end as the Mariners failed to homer in a game for the first time this spring.