Mariners Notebook: Team back in action in first ‘Summer Camp’ practice
Summer Camp is officially underway with the Mariners holding their first “full squad” workout Friday at T-Mobile Park. While the official attendance numbers were not given Scott Servais told the media Friday morning that the group would be smaller with 15-20 players still awaiting results from intake testing which can take 48 hours to complete.
Servais said “a few” Mariners have tested positive and pointed out that he would not be giving any specifics on health issues with players or coaches. Currently, only injuries that are game related are permitted to be disclosed unless a player gives permission.
Those who were cleared spent an hour and a half on the field with pitchers going through their throwing programs, fielding practice and some throwing bullpens. The position players played catch, worked on individual fielding work and took batting practice. It was what would be considered a very light work day as the Mariners will be cautious with players coming out of different training situations through the shutdown.
• With Perry Hill, Brain DeLunas and Tim Laker working remotely this season Joe Thurston (Double-A hitting coach) will coach first base, Trent Blank (pitching strategist) will assist in the bullpen and Hugh Quattlebaum (hitting coordinator) will take on some of the hitting responsibilities along with assistant hitting coach Jarret DeHart.
• With two starters coming off injury and younger pitchers in the rotation, the decision was made to go with a six-man rotation in 2020. Servais believes this will be a good thing for the young players in particular, and indicated it could be something they look to do going forward.
• The Mariners will look to get the starters up to 4 innings at around 70 pitches by the end of practices. The starters should get two to three starts in intrasquad games and the relievers can look forward to a heavier workload over the next three weeks as a number of them will be stretched to give the Mariners additional coverage while the starters continue to build up.
• One starter who might not need extra help is Yusei Kikuchi, who kept his normal in season throwing routine throughout the shutdown.
“He looked just like he did when he left spring training,” said Servais, who watched a bullpen earlier this week. “He’s probably a little further ahead. The volume of throwing he does is probably a little bit more than other guys.”
• You could see players on the field doing some self correction on the new health and safety protocols throughout both sessions. Attempts were made to spread out when they normally would be standing together in the outfield. One player bounded up to a line of others and fist bumped the first. He then stopped and offered an elbow to the rest of his teammates in the line. For Evan White, there are a couple of rules that are going to be tough to adjusting to.
• It took a couple of rounds but Kyle Seager was the first Mariner to hit a ball out in batting practice.
• It was good to see the four 2020 draftees who were added to the 60-player pool. While distance and masks made player ID a bit of a challenge, this group was easy to identify as No. 1 pick Emerson Hancock carried a Georgia backpack and Tyler Keenan was wearing an Ole Miss polo.
I could be wrong but I believe this is the arrival of Keenan, DeLoach and Polcovich. pic.twitter.com/JLr37Hoa1C
— Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) July 3, 2020