Mariners Notebook: Haggerty in action at 2B, Gonzales on hill

Feb 25, 2023, 10:54 AM | Updated: 11:00 am
Mariners Sam Haggerty...
Sam Haggerty scores a run for the Mariners in Boston in the 10th inning on April 22, 2021. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

It is not the opening day lineup, no, not even close, but there is plenty of interest in the names that are on the daily card as the Mariners take on the Angels in Game 2 of Cactus League play at 12:10 p.m. Saturday on Seattle Sports. Let’s take a look.

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Sam Haggerty, 2B
AJ Pollock, LF
Evan White, 1B
Cooper Hummel, C
Cade Marlowe, RF
Colin Moran, 3B
Robert Perez, DH
Mason McCoy, SS
Jonatan Clase, CF

Marco Gonzales, SP

At the top, Sam Haggerty, who will see his first game action since injuring his left groin in a game against the Tigers Oct. 3.

This season, he is expected to get most of his work in the outfield, but could also see some time at second against tough lefties. Mariners manager Scott Servais said there is a possibility we could see both Dylan Moore and Haggerty up the middle from time to time. Of course, Haggerty should be fun to watch on the bases. He’s not giving away any secrets, but has been looking for possible advantages with the new rules.

Two batters later is Evan White, who has been pointed to by Jerry Dipoto as a standout in early camp.

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The glove is still golden and the question still remains who he is as a hitter. More than anything, White needs at-bats this season. If he finds it, he would be great insurance in the minors.

First impression of Cooper Hummel? He’s an energy guy, which is needed when you are a catcher/outfielder. In the minors, he was a high on-base/low strikeout switch-hitter. That did not translate to the small sample of 66 games he got with the Diamondbacks in 2022. All eyes are now on the catching, which he looked to refine in the Arizona Fall League last fall. Shy of injury, Hummel has the most outside of chances to make the roster, with Servais liking the idea of a third catcher. Regardless, we should see him at some point in 2023.

The rest:

Cade Marlowe stole a base yesterday and could be a favorite to tally the most stolen bases this spring. If you like infield defense, you should enjoy Mason McCoy at short. Perez Jr., the Mariners 18th-ranked prospect, is comfortable hitting home runs in the desert. Perez Jr. won the AFL Home Run Derby last November belting 32 dingers at Sloan Park in Mesa. Finally, I’m excited to get a look at Jonatan Clase, who was added to the 40-man roster this winter. The 20-year-old outfielder stands just 5 foot 8 and put up an enticing – and exciting – line of .267/.374/.463/.837 with 22 doubles, 11 triples, 13 home runs and 55 stolen bases in 2022.

On the hill, Marco Gonzales. If you are watching on television, you will see he has trimmed down considerably from last year. He’s also been working on a sixth pitch – a slider.

Mariners Notes

• Among those on the pitching roster for the day, Matt Brash, Matt Festa, Chris Clarke (Rule 5 pick and a giant), J.B. Bukauskas, Darren McCaughan, Devin Sweet and Sam Carlson.

• Something to watch for with the new rules: The batter must be in the box and ready to hit with eight seconds remaining, but there is no cutoff time for the pitcher to be on the rubber. So if you are the hitter, you won’t want to take your cue from the pitcher in getting set. If you are the pitcher and can take advantage, you could possibly use this to steal a strike if you see the opportunity.

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Mariners Notebook: Haggerty in action at 2B, Gonzales on hill