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Mariners Insider Podcast: The latest report on MLB’s potential return to action

The Mariners and MLB could be nearing a return to play. (Getty)

Plenty to tackle this week on the Mariners Insider Podcast as this week featured more actual news than any week prior in this shutdown.

Drayer: Griffey, Mariners sent the Kingdome off with a bang

First up is the big news of the weekend of MLB’s draft proposal for returning to play, which includes conducting more than 10,000 coronavirus tests each week for a mid-June return and an early-July Opening Day. You can read ESPN’s Jeff Passan’s story on the proposal here. (Note, this report came out the day after the original podcast was recorded, and that news isn’t included in the below video).

I thought it was a good time to bring in James Osborn aka “Boy Howdy” from the Brock and Salk podcast to further discuss what’s been happening. With MLB owners approving a return to play plan on Monday and submitting it to the Players Union Tuesday, details and reactions were plenty this week. We get into what is known and what we could see in the next couple of weeks. We take a look at how the Mariners are positioned going forward whether they play or not and for the first time on the podcast dive into what this shutdown could mean for the minor leaguers.

My second guest, minor league coordinator Tony Arnerich goes further into depth on that final topic. While the focus in baseball has been to get the big leaguers back on the field, the picture for the prospect of minor leaguers returning to play has been much more grim. What are the Mariners doing to monitor their minor leaguers in this time of pandemic, what can them do at this point and what concerns are there about development without the ability to play right now are all hit on in the conversation with Arnerich.

We also get into a long conversation about the future of catching. Prior to being named minor league coordinator last winter, Arnerich was the organizations catching coordinator. Son and grandson of catchers and a lifelong catcher himself, catching, coaching and coaching catching are passions of Arnerich who covers the position from peanut league to the majors. You can guess where he stands on the idea of the automated strike zone but that hasn’t stopped him from looking ahead and trying to get a picture of how they can get the most out of their catchers in that situation.

One last note, I mention in the podcast that Marco Gonzales and his wife Monica have teamed up with Northwest Harvest to assist with the hundreds of thousands of newly food insecure families in the state of Washington with the loss of jobs due to COVID-19. The link to donate can be found here.

You can listen to the full Mariners Insider Podcast at this link or in the player below.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Mariners insider Shannon Drayer on Twitter.

Last Mariners Insider Podcast: Justin Dunn, MLB return, KBO and more