Saunders rejoins Mariners, plus lots of Tuesday news

SaundersMichaelMichael Saunders is back with the Mariners this morning, fresh off his MVP performance for Canada in the first-round of pool play in the World Baseball Classic. He said he’s locked in and ready to start the season tomorrow, though of course the Mariners still have three weeks til Opening Day.

I’ll have more on Saunders’ thoughts later on He’s not in the lineup today as the Mariners face the D-backs at 1:05 p.m. at Peoria Stadium. It’s Felix Day as the Mariners ace makes his second start of the spring and is scheduled to throw the first three innings.

Here’s today’s lineup:

Jason Bay RF
Dustin Ackley 2B
Kendrys Morales 1B
Justin Smoak DH
Eric Thames LF
Jesus Montero C
Brad Miller 3B
Julio Morban CF
Brendan Ryan SS

Felix Hernandez P

Coming up, Hisashi Iwakuma is slated to throw the first four innings on Wednesday when the Mariners travel to Surprise to face the Royals. Danny Hultzen will pitch an inning in that game after getting the last week off when his hip started bothering him.

Then there’ll be lots of action on Thursday with Joe Saunders tentatively scheduled to throw four innings against the Reds in Peoria, with Brandon Maurer to follow with four more innings as the starters continue to get stretched out.

And there’ll be a “B” game at 10 a.m. Thursday morning in Goodyear against the Indians, with James Paxton and Taijuan Walker slated for three innings apiece.

On the injury front, had a chance to talk to Josh Kinney this morning and he said the stress reaction that has sidelined him for the next several weeks is in his left shoulder area. That’s something of a positive since he’s right-handed. The hard part, he says, is he has no idea why the injury occurred, though he says that shoulder has been bothering him ever since he drove out to Arizona from Missouri before camp.

I’ll have more on Kinney later on as well.

And one more news note, left-hander Anthony Fernandez was optioned to Double-A Jackson this morning, which puts the number of players still in camp at 56.

1 Comment

Welcome back Mr. Saunders. Good job in the WBC.

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