Mariners Spring Training Game Eleven: Mariners 9, Rangers 0

Boy, oh boy is it great to see the M’s dominate an AL West opponent, particularly a perennial contender like the Rangers.

Mike Zunino stole the show today, banging out a double and a home run and DRAWING A WALK while driving in three runs. He’s batting .308 so far this Spring and drawing nty of walks, a great look for a power bat who desperately needed to learn plate discipline.

Taylor Motter, an offseason acquisition from the Rays, added a two-run jack of his own as he continues to campaign for a utility-man spot. Apparently, he’s played every position except for catcher in his career, and has gorgeous hair. Take a look:

Stunning. It’s more than distracting as it blows in the wind while he rounds the bases. Heaven help us if he makes the MLB squad and gets to work with that Puget Sound breeze.

Guillermo Heredia continues to be incredible, recording a hit and bringing his Spring average to .500, and recorded a hit in today’s victory. His superb fielding was on display as well as he laid out to take a hit away from former Mariner Adrian Beltre. He’s got my vote and likely everyone else’s vote to fill a backup outfield spot on the MLB roster come April.

Drew Smyly continues to do well this Spring, striking out three and allowing only one hit in three innings of work. He hasn’t allowed a run this Spring, and will be headed to pitch for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic if they make it to the second round (fingers crossed for a victory against Colombia). He’s looked sharp and gives us more reason for optimism in the starting rotation for 2017.

Max Povse, an acquisition from the Braves, put in two solid innings of work, recording a strikeout and no hits allowed. He looked efficient, confident, and tall, because he’s six-eight. I was at the grocery store the other night and the cart boy, who couldn’t have been older than seventeen, was at least six-eight, and didn’t look like he’d ever seen a basketball. Seeing untapped potential like that makes me curse my slight five-eight frame and think of what could have been. Then I fire up the van and head to Napoleon’s house before it gets too dark out. Povse looked great and doesn’t disappoint me like cart boy did, and the bullpen pitched well today, maintaining the shutout.

Also, happy birthday to Leonys Martín. There’s a great video on MLB.com of him being followed by a Mariachi band for two hours today, courtesy of his teammates.

The M’s enjoy an off day tomorrow, Hisashi Iwakuma gets the start Wednesday as the Mariners host the Indians, then they head to Mesa to face reigning champions and current bandwagon team Chicago Cubs, with Paxton getting the start. Keep an eye on the World Baseball Classic, particularly Team Dominican Republic, which features Robinson Canó, Nelson Cruz, and Jean Segura. Also, Team USA, because I’m American.