I declare winter dead. Any rain in the Northwest is a spring shower; any cold, or frost, is a winter hangover. I know winter is gone because my allergy’s have told me. Also Mariner pitchers and catchers are reporting for spring training. So long snow bunnies.
Head south little guy
The Mariners get a jump on other teams because they open the 2012 season playing in Japan against Oakland. Major League Baseball undoubtedly will promote the season opener as being April 4th with the Cardinals visiting the Miami Marlins. But the M’s and A’s begin league play March 28th.
The odd thing is that following those two league games, the Mariners come home for five pre-season games before re-opening the season in Oakland April 6 and 7.
It’s enough to make your head swim.
The Mariners have added two pitchers to the 40-man roster. Hong-Chih Kuo, 30, from Taiwan, who spent seven seasons in the Dodger bullpen with a 3.73 ERA. But last season elbow problems and a reported anxiety disorder saw his ERA ballon to 9.00 in 40 games. In 2010 batting average against was .139. He is another reclamation project for the Mariners. They find players that need refitting, put them in drydock, scrap the baranacles off, and see what can happen. It is amazing what you can find on Craig’s list. But it is worth it if Kuo gets back to form.
They also signed Shawn Camp, 36, who has pitched 432 games in relief over eight years.
Along with George Sherrill, these three give the Mariners some veteran help in the bullpen. If all goes well of course.
Felix and Justin Vargas are in the rotation. That leaves Hisashi Iwakuma, Hector Noesi, Danny Hultzen, Blake Beavan, Charlie Furbush, and two non-roster invitees, ( dry docked retrofitting)Kevin Millwood and Oliver Perez toiling for the remaining crew spots.
They are not short of arms, at least in numbers. The question is how it will all work out. If I had to pick today it would be Iwakuma, Hultzen, and Perez. That means-because I will probably be wrong-is that it will be Noesi, Beavan, and Millwood.
The mix will work itself out. That si what spring traing is for. It’s time for spring, rain or shine.