Add Leonys Martin to the list of Mariners to get offseason hitting help from Robinson Cano

Feb 1, 2017, 3:58 PM | Updated: 5:11 pm
Leonys Martin, Robinson Cano...
Robinson Cano's cool demeanor contributed to his comeback last season after a rough year in 2015. (AP)

Leonys Martin can’t wait to start his second season in a Mariners uniform.

The gregarious center fielder was one of several Seattle players who were present for last weekend’s FanFest at Safeco Field, and if there’s one thing he made clear while talking to members of the media, it’s that he’s anxious to get back on the field.

Will a steady pitching staff be enough for Mariners in 2017?

Here’s some notes on what Martin had to say:

• Martin, who spends his offseasons in Miami, said he joined teammate Robinson Cano in the Dominican Republic for about 10 days and joked that he was there “learning how to hit.” The 28-year-old Martin hit a career-high 15 home runs in 2016, but his average dipped to .247, five points below his career clip. As far as what he’s worked on with his approach: “Tried to get a little bit of a short swing, try to be under control a little bit more at home plate.”

• When general manager Jerry Dipoto acquired Martin from Texas last season, it was the first part of a multiple-step process to improve Seattle’s range and overall defense in the outfield. Now that the Mariners have added Jarrod Dyson, Mitch Haniger, Ben Gamel and Guillermo Heredia into the mix, Martin won’t have to be relied upon to cover as much ground out of center as he did last year. “We’re gonna be alright. We got great speed in the outfield,” he said. “Last year we had a great outfield but it’s a little bit different when you got a speedy guy next to you. It’s a little bit easier to cover ground. It’s a huge ballpark. It’s gonna be fun.”

• The improved athleticism in the outfield could have a positive impact on the Mariners’ lineup, as the new additions should help get Seattle more runners on base – and even if not, they’ll at least be more likely to take an extra base when they do get on. Adding All-Star shortstop Jean Segura will also help in those regards. “I think it will be a little easier for the big boys to drive in RBIs,” Martin said. “I think we got a good team again. I think we got everything. We got power, we got speed, we got starting pitching, bullpen.”

• As a Cuban defector, Martin isn’t allowed to play in the World Baseball Classic for his home country. As has been the case since the first WBC tournament in 2006, Cuba’s team will not include any MLB players due to the fact that, to this point, all Cuban players to have played in the majors have had to defect to reach America. “I wish,” Martin said about the prospect of playing for Cuba. “Not gonna happen.”

• Martin was slowed by a hamstring injury last season, missing a stretch of games in late May and early June while on the disabled list. He was still able to appear in 143 games, the third time since 2013 that he played that many. He’s hoping to be out there for even more than the career-high 155 he played in 2014, though. “I’m preparing my body to play 162 games in the regular season. I’m ready. I’m ready, man.”

No starting pitcher.

Mariners Roof Report

Brought to you by
Mostly Sunny
High 70° | Low 54°
No game today.

Brent Stecker

Mariners Cal Raleigh...
Brent Stecker

The Mariners found the perfect way to finally end the drought

There was only one path for the Mariners to get back to the playoffs, and two products of that path delivered Seattle's clinching victory.
5 days ago
Mariners J.P. Crawford Jarred Kelenic...
Brent Stecker

State of the Mariners: Where things stand with magic number at 2

The Mariners' magic number is down to two. We detail what that means, plus everything you need to know about the playoff race and the team.
7 days ago
Mariners Mitch Haniger...
Brent Stecker

Where Mariners’ quest for playoff spot stands after collapse in KC

How fans should be feeling about the Mariners' chances of ending their postseason drought in less than two weeks and how they are actually feeling right now are probably two different things.
11 days ago
Mariners Harry Ford...
Brent Stecker

Top Mariners prospect Harry Ford lights up WBC qualifiers

The season for the Modesto Nuts, the Mariners' Single-A affiliate, may have ended over a week ago, but one of the Nuts' best players is continuing to rake.
16 days ago
Mariners Luis Castillo...
Brent Stecker

Mariners Takeaways: 4 things to know as playoff push hits final turn

The Mariners have 20 games left, and they sit comfortably in a playoff position. A look at the rotation, standouts and the wild card picture.
22 days ago
Mariners Ty France...
Brent Stecker

5 things that stand out after Mariners’ huge series win over Guardians

The Mariners picked up a huge series win over the Guardians this weekend.'s Brent Stecker breaks down five things to know.
1 month ago
Add Leonys Martin to the list of Mariners to get offseason hitting help from Robinson Cano