Mariners first day of full squad workouts moved inside
PEORIA, Az. – Greetings from soggy Peoria. For a second straight day, weather has forced the Mariners to hold the majority of their workouts inside. On Saturday, it was just the pitchers and catchers who saw their work brought under cover. Sunday, the full squad was scheduled to hold their first workouts on the field together. That did not quite go according to plan.
“It’s disappointing, everyone wants to get out on the field Day 1 but we are going to turn a negative into a positive,” said manager Scott Servais. “It’s an omen; we are used to rain in Seattle. We will get our work in.”
Daily chalk talks are held inside but the topic of today’s lesson, bunting, will likely not be able to be carried out on the field. However, hitters will be able to hit in the cages and the bullpens are covered, so the pitchers will get their work. Servais’ first meeting with his full squad – perhaps the most important item on the agenda – will not be affected by the rain.
“There’s a lot of very common themes I am not going to change,” Servais said of the annual talk to set the tone for the season. “We did a lot of positive things last year. We’ve added to it, a lot of different feel to it. The experience we have in the room, the talent level is up. I think we are a little better than we were last year.”
Better than last year on the field and in the standings would appear to be the expectation – and a reasonable one at that. It is beyond time this team makes an appearance in the playoffs, and if pressure comes with that expectation, Servais welcomes it.
“We play a game,” he said. “Pressure is a privilege. That’s my take on it and where we are at. There’s no pressure. Expectations are great, it should be. That’s what we are shooting for, that’s what (General Manager) Jerry (Dipoto) spent all offseason working on is to get our team a little bit better, and it’s a good thing. We have got a tough division, there’s no doubt. Other teams got better as well.”
Servais will see his full squad before him for the first time in his morning meeting but we will have to wait one more day to see them all together on the field. The forecast for Monday is promising, a high of 70 degrees and just a 10 percent chance of rain.
• Ariel Miranda will stay stretched out in spring training as the Mariners want him ready to go in case they lose a starter early. Servais is pleased with what he has seen from Miranda early on and pointed out that they can always back him off if it appears he will be heading to the bullpen.
• Servais had a pop quiz for the media Sunday morning. How many nations are represented in the spring training clubhouse? Stealing The Seattle Times’ Ryan Divish’s list here …
• Reliever Jean Machi is in camp after his arrival was delayed due to paperwork issues in the Dominican Republic. Outfielder Leonys Martin is the only player who has yet to arrive.
• From the former M’s and “this is awesome” file…
— Fernando Rodney (@F_Rodney56) February 19, 2017