PEORIA, Ariz. – Anyone who has ever watched players around a batting cage has seen it – one hitter taking a bat from another player and hefting it, testing it.
“You’re always looking for the perfect bat,” third baseman Kyle Seager said.
In camp, it’s often the same with new gloves. One player will get one, another will want to try it on, see how it feels, looks, catches.
So when Seattle Mariners infielders Seager and Chone Figgins stood at third base before infield practice the other day, that’s what it appeared they were doing – looking at one another’s gloves.
Turns out, they weren’t.
“Chone was showing me something I hadn’t thought of,” Seager said. “I’d always put a finger in each finger of my glove. He put two fingers in the pinky slot.”
And the difference?
“At third base, you’re using a slightly bigger glove than at second base, anyway,” Seager said. “When I tried it Chone’s way, I had a deeper glove.
“I liked it a lot that way. Chone’s a great teammate, I love picking his brain.”
When asked about the exchange, Figgins shrugged.
“We were just talking about gloves,” he said.”
LIVE BATTING, LOW ACTION
Seattle hitters stood in the batting cages against Mariners pitchers for live batting practice Sunday, and most hitters chose to track pitches rather than swing at them.
“They’re just getting here, some of them haven’t been hitting on a field yet, so they’re getting a feel for pitches,” rookie pitcher James Paxton said. “So are we.
“You feel one way throwing in the bullpen to a catcher, another way when there’s a batter at the plate. There’s a little extra adrenaline, even if he’s your teammate and he’s not going to swing.”
The Mariners didn’t swing on one field because there were base-running drills ongoing. On two other fields, hitters could and occasionally did swing.
Charlie Furbush, for instance, yelled in mock rage at friend and teammate Casper Wells after the outfielder hit a pitch up the middle.
Wells told Furbush not to throw him another low-and-away pitch, then.
“It was fun, because it’s another step,” rookie pitcher Taijuan Walker said. “In the bullpen, you’re throwing with another pitcher on either side of you. Today, you’re on the mound in the middle of a field and there’s a hitter.”
Chance Ruffin threw on the field where no one swung, and said he was fine with that.
“The hitters aren’t quite ready and neither am I,” he said. “The last thing you want to do is hit a teammate. And I didn’t want to take a line drive off the forehead, either.”
Figgins the leadoff hitter? His best years have come batting in that spot, and manager Eric Wedge seems to be considering flip-flopping Figgins and Ichiro Suzuki. Will he? “That situation will be resolved in the next few days,” Wedge said. “Then you can all write your butts off.” … Mike Carp is taking most of his defensive work in the outfield, although he will take part as a first baseman when the team begins cutoff drills. … Infielder Carlos Triunfel has been with the Mariners since he signed in 2006, but is still just 21 years old and in his first camp with Wedge. “We want to find out what he is,” Wedge said. “We’d like him to come in and make an impression. He’s a little stronger than I remember him.” … Walker got a good piece of advice after throwing to hitters – they told him he was tipping his change-up, and told him how. That, Walker said, will be corrected.