PEORIA, Ariz. – The sun was still rising when rookie pitcher Forrest Snow arrived at the Seattle Mariners’ spring training camp Wednesday, so there weren’t many fans on hand to see his sartorial splendor.
While most teammates wander in wearing T-shirts, sweatshirts and jeans, Snow showed up this time wearing his usual dress shirt and tie, a dark vest and slacks.
“Look good, play well. That’s the theory,” Snow said. “I want to be a big-leaguer, so I’ll dress like one.”
Snow, 23, jumped from high Class A ball to Triple-A Tacoma last July when the Rainiers needed an arm. Usually, players in that situation fill a role and then are returned to their original team.
“He started a couple of games for us and then we tried to limit his innings and used him in relief,” Tacoma Rainiers manager Daren Brown said. “He pitched well for us, then went to Arizona Fall League and proved it was no fluke.”
In the AFL, the 6-foot-6 Snow, a Seattle native who pitched for the University of Washington Huskies, threw 16 innings and allowed opposing batters a .167 average.
Snow’s locker is alongside those of Taijuan Walker, Dan Hultzen and James Paxton, and the Mariners consider him one of their best young pitching prospects.
There’s no question he’s the best dresser in the group.
“I’d have to get up too early in the morning to tie a tie,” Hultzen said.
“I don’t know how to tie one,” Walker admitted.
“I’d rather wear a tie than a polo shirt,” Snow said. “I started doing it in Tacoma. I was close to home and had the chance to dress up, so I did.
“I was the only pitcher Daren Brown ever had who charted a game from the stands wearing a suit.”
Brown allows the starting pitcher for the next game to sit in the stands and chart the pitches of the starter – and has a rule: They must wear shirts with a collar.
“I looked up in the stands and saw Forrest in a suit and Chris Seddon was sitting beside him and looked terrible,’ Brown said. “I didn’t know whether to fine Seddon for looking to bad or fine Snow for making Seddon look so bad.”
Snow has taken some friendly abuse for being a clothes hound.
“I came in a few times after games and found my clothes hanging from the ceiling,” Snow said. “You know who always laughed and got a kick out of it? Greg (Halman).” (Halman was stabbed to death in November in his native Netherlands.)
This spring, teammates are enjoying each new day with Snow.
“Stephen Pryor claims I have 40 ties,” Snow said, “but it’s more like 15-20.”
The first intrasquad game is Friday, and pitching coach Carl Willis has the starters lined up – it’ll be left-handers Jason Vargas vs. Hultzen.
Thirteen other pitchers are scheduled to work an inning: Shawn Camp, Oliver Perez, Aaron Heilman, Steve Delabar, Charlie Furbish and Chance Ruffin will follow Vargas. Walker, Paxton, Shawn Kelley, Hong-Chi Kuo, Cesar Jimenez, Erasmo Ramirez and Lucas Luetge will follow Hultzen.
Shortstop Brendan Ryan (right-shoulder tightness) played catch for the first time, and is scheduled to throw lightly each day through Sunday. In Friday’s game, Ryan will be the DH for one team. ... Two outfielders – Franklin Gutierrez and Trayvon Robinson – had their legs tighten up after running drills, and didn’t take part in outfield drills that followed. ... The Mariners added another “B” game, this one at Cincinnati (Goodyear, Ariz.) on March 5 at 9 a.m. (PST). ... Batting coach Chris Chambliss will be away from camp today, taking care of personal matters.