Mariners notebook: Drew Smyly impressed by Mike Zunino’s catching ability after spring debut

Mar 1, 2017, 3:38 PM | Updated: Mar 2, 2017, 9:25 am
New Mariners pitcher Drew Smyly is particularly happy to benefit from catcher Mike Zunino's framing...
New Mariners pitcher Drew Smyly is particularly happy to benefit from catcher Mike Zunino's framing. (AP)

What stood out to Drew Smyly in his Mariners spring debut? His catcher, Mike Zunino.

“He’s great,” Smyly said. “He really makes so many pitches look like strikes. He’s fantastic with receiving. It was eye-opening to me the first time I threw to him how well he was able to receive and make balls look like strikes. That’s huge from a pitching standpoint.”

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Smyly threw two scoreless innings in Wednesday’s 7-4 win over Cleveland, giving up no hits, one walk and striking out one. His one base runner was erased by Zunino, who caught Yan Gomes stealing in the second inning. All and all a good first outing in Smyly’s book.

“It’s just fun,” he said. “I’m glad that baseball is back and I’m able to play.”


• Guillermo Heredia just continues to hit. Coming into Wednesday’s game in the seventh inning, he hit a double just inside the bag at third and down the left field line. He is 6 for 10 with four doubles and a triple this spring.

• Leonys Martin checked in with his first hit(s) of the spring against Cleveland. Martin, who has made an adjustment with his hands in an effort to shorten up his swing, went 3 for 4 with two doubles.

• Edwin Diaz threw his first outing of the spring, and like his bullpens and live BP sessions he really appeared to get after it. He gave up one hit and struck out one in his inning. He also threw a changeup, a pitch he is reintroducing to his repertoire. “That looked good,” said Servais, who indicated that Diaz perhaps threw a few more than he would have liked to see. “We just don’t want him to forget about what got him here, the bread and butter, fastball and slider. But that looked good as well.”

• We finally got an in-game look at Thyago Vieira, who can top 100 mph. Vieira showed a little of everything. Velocity, check. One pitch came in at 100 mph, according to a scout’s radar gun, with the fastball sitting around 98. A breaking pitch came in at 74 mph. The command was a little iffy at times but Vieira surrendered just one hit and struck out one in his inning pitched.

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