And so, the sun rises in Peoria …
Awoke to a strange sensation this morning … the sun streaming through the window at the Peoria condo that I’ll call home for the next seven weeks.
I left the gray Seattle winter weather behind on Friday and, yes, am more than ready to set up shop and enjoy the 80 degree temperatures expected this weekend in Arizona.
Mariners pitchers and catchers report tomorrow and then hit the field for the first time under Eric Wedge’s watch on Monday morning. I’ll keep you up to date on everything that’s happening throughout Spring Training on Mariners.com, this Mariners Musings blog and at my Twitter account (@GregJohnsMLB).
Reporting day means players taking physicals, so that will be the chance for the Mariners to see how David Aardsma is progressing from his hip surgery and how the rest of the crew is looking heading into camp.
In other news while I was traveling yesterday, Milton Bradley’s attorney released a statement saying the Mariners outfielder won’t face criminal charges on the verbal assault case he was arrested for last month. You can read that full story by clicking here.
Bradley and his wife still need to attend a hearing at the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office and charges could still be filed in the future if more problems arise, but for now that incident appears largely put to rest.
What condition Bradley arrives in and how he works with Wedge will be among the many storylines to watch at the upcoming camp.
One other item that popped up Friday that’s certainly worth mentioning. Ben Badler of Baseball America was the first to report the Mariners signed 17-year-old Dominican outfielder Gaby Guerrero to a $400,000 contract.
The significance there? Guerrero is the nephew of Vladimir Guerrero. And while there are obviously no guarantees young Gaby ever reaches the Major Leagues, let alone follows his uncle’s large footsteps, he apparently has good size and skills on display already.
Thanks to a heads up from MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo and his excellent blog covering the Minor Leagues, the draft and anything to do with prospects, here’s a quick scouting reporting from Dominican Prospect League:
“Gaby is 6-foot-2, 180 pounds with an XL frame much like his uncle Vladimir Guerrero. The resemblance is noticeable from a distance and his tools have certain similarities. He has arm strength, ability to put the ball in play and power potential. Gaby’s swing can be long and loopy at times but he creates leverage and power through the zone with loop.”
The DPL website even provided a quick video clip of young Guerrero, which doesn’t show a lot, but does offer a glimpse of his size and swing.