Mariners notebook: M’s trying out their versatility in outfield
Game 2 of the Mariners’ Cactus League season is on tap Monday, and in terms of Cactus League play, it’s a big one. The Cubs are coming to town, which typically means a big crowd as they travel throughout the valley to see their team.
While Sunday’s starting lineup featured most of the projected starters for the Mariners, the game 2 lineup behind Marco Gonzales looks a little different.
Jake Fraley, LF
Austin Nola, C
Kyle Seager, 3B
Patrick Wisdom, 1B
Carlos González, RF
Tim Lopes, 2B
Eric Filia, DH
Dylan Moore, SS
Jose Siri, CF
Marco Gonzales, LHP
As for the Cubs, they are bringing a good number of their No. 1’s, but not their manager David Ross, who is out with the flu.
Kris Bryant, 3B
Anthony Rizzo, 1B
Javier Baez, SS
Steven Souza Jr., RF
Albert Almora Jr., CF
David Bote, 2B
Josh Phegley, C
Robel Garcia, DH
Ian Miller, LF
Adbert Alzolay, RHP
Good to see Cascade Everett grad Souza in the Chicago lineup as well as former Mariners minor leaguer Ian Miller for the 12:10 p.m. game, which will air live on 710 ESPN Seattle.
Of interest on the Mariners side, though it’s too early to read too much into anything, is Jake Fraley in the leadoff spot. I hadn’t really thought of him as a leadoff hitter but he could be an intriguing option down the road if Shed Long doesn’t pan out there. Fraley did hit leadoff in 17 games in the minors last year and brings a mix of power with a decent strikeout rate. He also can run. Spring training is when you find out what your options are and I’m interested to see what this looks like.
On that note, Mariners manager Scott Servais is interested to see where Fraley and the rest of the outfielders end up in the field. While Fraley played mostly center in college, he’s changed his game and body since which might move him to a corner. He and the others will get looks at all three positions.
“It’s just about keeping the flexibility as much as we can,” said Servais. “It helps with putting the lineup together, having multiple guys that can play center field, left field. Whatever they are maybe not accustomed to playing. Kyle Lewis will spend more time in right field than anywhere else but if you watch him in BP he’s in left field because he’s not as comfortable there and he knows we are going to be sliding him over there. It’s very, very helpful to be able to do that. It just gives you more flexibility.”
• Mike Cameron arrived in camp Monday, completing perhaps the best outfield instructor group in baseball history with Ichiro and Franklin Gutierrez here working with players as well. With the coaching outfield complete, the question was posed to Twitter: What configuration would you go with? The clear winner, but far from unanimous, was Ichiro in right, Cameron in center and Gutierrez in left. Thoughts?
• The ping pong tournament is up and running and today assistant hitting coach Jarret DeHart provided some video.
— Jarret DeHart (@JD_Hitting) February 24, 2020
Donovan Walton living up the advance hype on his game. The No. 1 seed in the tournament, as you might have noticed, has also had a name change this spring. A name change with a good reason behind it.
“Growing up, everybody has always called me Donnie, and I really didn’t pay too much mind to it until my grandma one time at her house on Christmas Eve was frustrated that I didn’t use the name Donovan,” said Walton. “My great grandpa was named Donovan and I really did like the name so I told her if they give me the chance to change my name I would do it. Either one is fine with me but I just know it would make my grandma happy. If everybody called me Donovan and she saw Donovan on the scoreboard, it’s just something for her.”
In spring we do see several name changes as players are asked before the media guides are sent for printing. Along with Walton, Shed Long has added Jr. to his name this year. Daniel Vogelbach is still Daniel and not Dan. Always good to know.
• Danny and Gallant are here broadcasting from the complex all week long. Tune in from 7-10 a.m. on 710 ESPN Seattle for their show from Mariners camp.