The Mariners returned to nearly full strength on Tuesday, now only missing closer Edwin Jackson as he competes with Puerto Rico in the final round of the World Baseball Classic. Despite an excellent performance from Robinson Canó and two walks from Nelson Cruz, they fell to Oakland 8-5.
Haniger Continues to Impress
Mitch Haniger logged two hits today, bringing his Spring Training average to .412. I said it last week, he’s looking better and better as the games go on, and proving to be a great acquisition by DiPoto. It looks like he’ll be coming into his own and realizing a lot of his potential as a consistent starter this season, just in time for a playoff run in Seattle.
Guillermo Heredia keeps impressing us as well. He didn’t log any hits today and his bat has definitely cooled down since his hot start to the Spring, but his speed and all-out approach to the game is fun to watch. It wasn’t a highlight play by any means, but his play to cut off Adam Rosales’ double in the sixth was a great display of Heredia’s style of play. He bolted to his right to cut the ball off before it got to the wall, and gunned it to the cutoff man. Granted, Rosales still ended up with a double, and it seems like a rather routine play by a left fielder, but seeing his hustle and speed on the play is super exciting.
Veterans Controlling the Zone
It’s great to have Cruz, Canó, and Segura back. It’s even greater to see Cruz and Canó setting the example they are for the club with performances like we saw today. Cruz drew two walks, and Canó ended up with two hits, including a double, and drove in three runs. Seager has been quietly struggling, squeezing out just a .256 average this Spring, but he also managed to draw a walk tonight. Segura knocked in a run with one hit and drew a walk as well. Mariner fans have to love the culture Servais and DiPoto bring to the club, allowing the players to have fun and enjoy themselves, and they have to feel comfortable with veterans like these in the clubhouse who so willingly apply the strategies of their manager.
Smyly Back on the Mound
Drew Smyly got the start for the AAA squad today, keeping up his reps leading up to Opening Day.
In WBC action, Team USA edged out a win over Japan to earn a spot in the final against Edwin Diaz and Puerto Rico. Should be a stellar matchup.
The M’s host the Angels tomorrow in Peoria, Cody Martin gets the start.