Another big day for Mariners pitching
While the Mariners lead all Major League teams so far this spring with 12 home runs and are looking good offensively, yesterday was largely about the young guns, Danny Hultzen and Taijuan Walker, as they pitched four shutout innings as the Mariners won their fifth straight Cactus League game. I wrote all about that here.
Now comes a couple more pitching storylines today, with Felix Hernandez set to throw his first live batting practice this morning in Peoria about the same time much of the team boards a bus for Scottsdale to face the Giants for a 1:05 p.m. MT (12:05 p.m. PT) game.
And that contest will see veteran Jon Garland (pictured above) making his Mariners debut as the former All-Star is slated to pitch the first inning. Garland could turn into a very good story this spring if he proves healthy. The lanky right-hander hasn’t pitched since undergoing rotator cuff surgery in his shoulder in mid-2011.
But he’s looked pretty good in bullpen and batting practice sessions this spring and if he can put it together, he might be a nice option for the back end of the rotation as a non-roster invite.
After Garland’s inning of work, Blake Beavan will take the mound and is slated to throw three innings if all goes well. Beavan has been working on a slightly altered throwing motion that has him bringing the ball up higher and then extending more in his delivery as he looks to get more of a downhill angle on his pitches.
So far, so good in that regard, but the Giants will provide a nice test today with a lineup that includes Angel Pagan, Marco Scutaro, Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey, Hunter Pence and Brandon Belt.
In other words, the Mariners are seeing an ‘A’ lineup from the defending World Series champs, with Matt Cain starting on the mound as well.
After Beavan, Erasmo Ramirez is scheduled to throw two innings and hard-throwing relievers Tom Wilhelmsen and Carter Capps are also on tap today. So should be some good stuff.
This one again won’t be broadcast live on television or radio, though the radio broadcast will be live streamed on Mariners.com for anyone who registers. It will also be carried on a delayed basis on 710 ESPN Seattle at 7 p.m. PT.
Live radio resumes Friday when the Mariners host the Rangers in Peoria with young prospects James Paxton getting the start and Brandon Maurer to follow.
The Saturday and Sunday games will be carried live as well. Hisashi Iwakuma and Jeremy Bonderman will be the first pitching options Saturday against the Dodgers, while we haven’t heard Sunday’s plans yet.
The first of six TV games this spring will be Monday afternoon against the Rockies.