Mike Salk’s Good News, Bad News: Mariners spring training so far

Feb 26, 2018, 7:30 AM
Mitch Haniger, shown here in 2017 Mariners spring training, hasn't seen game action in 2018. (AP)...
Mitch Haniger, shown here in 2017 Mariners spring training, hasn't seen game action in 2018. (AP)

With the Mariners entering their third week of spring training, 710 ESPN Seattle’s Mike Salk takes stock of how things have gone in Peoria, Ariz., to this point.

Good news: Marco Gonzales looks like he wants to compete and might have the tools with a new arm slot, increased comfort thanks to added distance from his Tommy John surgery in 2016, and a new (old) pitch with his cutter.

Bad news: I have watched maybe 15 innings and have seen four outs on the bases. This was supposed to be a point of emphasis for the coaching staff. They better redouble their efforts!

Good news: Everything about Dee Gordon. His attitude, speed, comfort in center field. I like that he bumps Jean Segura to second in the batting order, too.

Bad news: Injuries, especially hand ones. I don’t like the Ryon Healy deal. I’m sure he’ll come back, but hand injuries tend to linger. The Erasmo Ramirez one doesn’t sit right with me, either. How many guys have we seen miss spring training, pitch poorly, then blame missing spring training? And I sure didn’t like seeing Nelson Cruz get hit on his hand (see my thoughts on Healy, Ryon).

Good news: Edwin Diaz now speaks English. Incredible considering where he was two years ago. He doesn’t need to speak English to be good at his job, but it speaks to his dedication and willingness to work, and he is going to need that dedication. As much as I (and most Mariners fans) love his stuff, he lost his closing job twice last year. Diaz has to find a way to keep control of that fastball and not let his stuff drift to his arm side.

Bad news: Diaz says his family in Puerto Rico still doesn’t have electricity. That is unthinkable and incredibly sad – hard to comprehend.

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