Friday’s Game 32 recap: Mariners 3, Rockies 2
Player of the Game: I’ll toss this one to Yoervis Medina, who threw two perfect innings with three strikeouts in the sixth and seventh to continue his strong spring in the bullpen. Medina has a 1.50 ERA with just six hits allowed in 12 innings and looks to be building on his strong rookie season last year.
Stat of the Game: The Mariners rallied late with three runs in the ninth, with Minor League shortstop Tyler Smith driving in the tying runs with a two-run double and then scoring the winning run on Nate Tenbrink’s single. Smith has hit .517 (8-for-14) to make the most of his late-inning appearances. Smith is a 22-year-old who was the MVP of the Appalachian Rookie League last year after getting drafted in the eighth round out of Oregon State last June and has done a great job with his opportunities when called up to help fill out the roster. He’ll likely be playing Class A ball this year, but certainly he’s introduced himself now to the new Mariners staff.
Storyline: Roenis Elias found out he’d made the team and would be the fourth starter in the rotation earlier in the day, then did his best to control damage in his first semi-rocky outing of the spring. The 25-year-old lefty allowed two triples and a double among his seven hits, but kept the Rockies off the scoreboard outside of two runs in the third. He finished spring with a 2.38 ERA and a surprise promotion from Double-A ball to the big leagues.
Worth noting: Outfielder Stefen Romero again got some late-inning work at first base as McClendon continues working the youngster some at that position to increase his options for playing time. Romero, who also found out he’d made the team on Friday, played some first and third base at Oregon State in his college days, but has mostly been at second in the Mariners’ system before moving to the outfield last year. Willie Bloomquist saw his first outfield duty this spring in the final three innings as well as he’s another who’ll need to be versatile in his super utility role.
Quote of the Day: “I didn’t understand everything he said because most of it was in Spanish, but I think in the end he tried to kiss me. I figured he was happy at that point.” – McClendon after informing Elias he’d made the team on Friday.
Next: Newly signed right-hander Chris Young gets the start in Saturday’s Cactus League finale against the Rockies at 12:10 p.m. PT at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale. The 34-year-old Young plans to throw about five innings or 75 pitches as he prepares to slot in as Seattle’s fifth starter for the regular season. Designated hitter Corey Hart, who hasn’t played in a Cactus League game since March 20, is expected to get some at-bats after hitting in Minor League games the past three days as he works back from a sore forearm. The Mariners will fly to Anaheim after the game, which will be available for free on MLB.TV and ROOT Sports.
Here’s today’s boxscore.
Here’s today’s notebook with all the news from camp.