SHANNON DRAYER

Mariners Notebook: Ray starts 1st game with new rules on display

Feb 23, 2023, 10:05 AM | Updated: Feb 24, 2023, 4:33 pm

Mariners Robbie Ray...

Mariners pitcher Robbie Ray throws against the Boston Red Sox on Sunday. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

The long cold winter is over. “Yeah right,” you’re saying if you are in the PNW, but yes, it’s true – we have Mariners baseball today.

Lineup!

Kolten Wong, 2B
Julio Rodríguez, CF
Ty France, 1B
Teoscar Hernández, RF
Eugenio Suárez, 3B
Jarred Kelenic, LF
Tom Murphy, C
J.P. Crawford, SS
Mike Ford, DH

Robbie Ray, SP

Robbie Ray is scheduled to throw two innings on a pitch count around 40. Like last year, managers will be allowed to pull pitchers from innings and start them the next if the need arises. Others scheduled to pitch include Diego Castillo, Penn Murfee, Trevor Gott, Taylor Williams and Riley O’Brien.

A focus today and all of spring will be the new rules. Drills with alignments and timing have been run in the past week, but game action will, of course, be different. Teams will use spring training games not only to adjust to the rules but to try things out. The coaches and analysts did the work this winter but even so, according to Mariners manager Scott Servais, new ideas have popped up in recent days.

“There’s some things that have come up in camp that we may try to use the clock to our advantage from a defensive standpoint, put pickoff plays on and whatnot, you just time them up,” he said.

The “you” will go beyond the runners. With the clocks very visible in the ballpark and no doubt on the television, the “you” includes you.

“You will change how you watch the game,” said Servais. “Just like the NBA shot clock.”

It will be interesting to hear how this translates to radio. There will be an adjustment period for the broadcasters as well.

On that note, full house in the radio booth today with Rick, Gary, Blowers and Sims all on hand for the Cactus League lidlifter, which begins at 12 p.m. Pacific.

Ready or not…

Mariners Notes

• Tom Murphy will see his first game action since injuring his shoulder May 6 in Tampa. The guy who is known for his intensity could easily be labeled the happiest guy in camp this spring. Needless to say, he is excited to get out there.

He’s also excited to catch Ray, who added a splitter this winter. Murphy said he has liked what he has seen from the pitch, especially the difference in velocity from his 4-seam fastball with the good ones coming in about 10 mph slower.

• Kole Calhoun has passed his physical and is now officially signed and in camp. It will probably be a few days before he sees game action, but Servais is happy to have him in camp.

“Kole’s a great guy. I’ve known him a long time. He’s certainly done plenty of damage against us over the years,” Servais said with a laugh. “I joked yesterday the two guys who probably had more AB’s against me other than No. 27 in Anaheim, Kole Calhoun and Stephen Vogt are in the room.”

• Dylan Moore, who is coming off core surgery, will not be seen in a game for at least a week.

“We’re not trying to rush it at all,” said Servais. “He’s looked good going through the defensive stuff. It might be a week, 10 days. I’m okay if it is a couple of weeks yet, we will just wait and see.”

• From the dings and dents department, Tommy La Stella was scratched from the DH spot this morning with a sore right arm. Servais expects him to be out of the lineup for 5-6 days.

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