SHANNON DRAYER

Notebook: Mariners’ prized OF prospects steal the show with throws

Feb 20, 2019, 7:58 PM
Scott Servais was impressed by Mariners OF prospects Julio Rodriguez and Jarred Kelenic. (AP)...
Scott Servais was impressed by Mariners OF prospects Julio Rodriguez and Jarred Kelenic. (AP)
(AP)

PEORIA, Ariz. – The last drill to cross off the list for the Mariners before Cactus League play was the situational base running game, and it did not disappoint.

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Team (Kyle) Seager took on Team (Dee) Gordon and of course there was plenty of good-natured jawing between the two sides. The game was complete with spectacular sights, including the Eric Filia shimmy, a Jay Bruce triple, a scare with Kyle Lewis dislocating his pinkie on a slide, and a glimpse of the future with Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez among the minor leaguers called up to play defense in the drill.

“Pretty awesome, pretty awesome,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said of the two teens who each threw out base runners from the outfield. “There’s a reason we like them. This is their first exposure to something like this and it was fun to watch.”

While the pair of Kelenic and Rodriguez will get most of their work this spring in minor league camp, there is a very good chance we see them in a handful of Major League games.

“They’re special. They’re special players,” said Servais. “They will get an opportunity. I told them they will come up for some of the big league games. Most days you won’t play, but take it all in. Get the experience of it all, learn from the older guys.”

As for Lewis, he was seen by trainers and returned to the field in short order.

“It’s fine,” Lewis said as he rejoined his team. “I just jammed it a little.”

The drill wrapped up five days of full-squad work. The necessary fundamental drills were put in and all in all, Servais liked what he saw.

“It’s been a very crisp camp,” he said. “Trying to get guys to understand the importance of protecting the baseball and not be sloppy. I am excited about the young players coming through our system. All the things they have been teaching, harping, pushing down there and now we get to see it play out on the big league field and it’s exciting.”

Notes

• It was another very chilly day in Peoria with wake-up temperatures in the 30s and workout temps running from 45-55 degrees – with the added feature of a wind chill. As of 3 p.m. Wednesday there was a 100 percent chance of rain Thursday, which leaves the Cactus League opener against the A’s in Mesa very much in doubt. We should have news on the status of the game relatively early Thursday, and if it is canceled the pitchers will look for a window of opportunity to throw simulated innings in the covered bullpens in Peoria.

• A little excitement in live BP this morning.

Ichiro appeared to be fine after getting hit on the foot. Félix was most apologetic, checking on him after the pitch and again telling him “My bad” at the end of the session.

• Is there a competition for closer in camp? There are a couple of pitchers in camp who have held the role before, but Servais is preparing to use a number of guys and the best guy might not always go last.

“You try to put your best relievers in the best spots is how I am looking at it,” he said. “In a perfect world, yeah if some guy grabs the role and wants to run with it, but there could be situations where the best matchup may call for the guy who has got the most saves to pitch in the eighth inning, it may happen once in a while. Not all the time but once in a while you make those calculated risks. Some nights it will work, some nights it won’t work.”

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Notebook: Mariners’ prized OF prospects steal the show with throws