PEORIA, Ariz. – The Seattle Mariners cut seven players Saturday, six of them pitchers, to get their in-camp roster to 40 players – just a few days before flying to Japan with a crew of 30.
Outfielder Trayvon Robinson was optioned to the minors.
“Trayvon has a lot of talent, he just needs to go down and get his work in,” manager Eric Wedge said. “In the next three or four days, we’ve got a lot of tough decisions to make.”
In eight spring games, Robinson hit .529. When the Tacoma Rainiers open their season, Robinson will be one of the starting outfielders.
Also Saturday, left-handers Sean Henn and Oliver Perez and righties Matt Fox, Aaron Heilman, Josh Kinney and Jeff Marquez were re-assigned to minor league camp.
I’M YOUR BIGGEST FAN
Occasional broadcaster Ron Fairly loves to tell stories of his life with the Los Angeles Dodger in the early ’60s, and they usually bring a laugh.
Among his favorites?
“I got a letter from a young fan who said, ‘You’re my favorite player. Can you get me Sandy Koufax’s autograph?’” Fairly said.
Times have changed – or have they?
Last week, third baseman Kyle Seager got a fan letter.
“They told me I was their favorite big league player, said all kinds of nice things – and then they asked if I could get Ichiro’s autograph for them,” Seager said.
KUO ROUGHED UP
It was an unusual Seattle lineup Saturday – Miguel Olivo batted third – and the Chicago White Sox had little trouble with it, holding the Mariners to two hits in a 5-0 win.
The game was 1-0 after four innings with Blake Beavan on the mound, but in the fifth inning, Hong-Chih Kuo had another pratfall, allowing four runs and watching his spring earned run average jump to 17.55.
“He shows signs, but he’s just been erratic with his fastball and his breaking ball has been in and out at times,” Wedge said. “He just hasn’t been able to put it all together just yet.”
Kuo is about out of time to prove himself – Seattle leaves for Japan on Thursday.
As for the Seattle offense, Michael Saunders (.400) had a single and so did Alex Liddi (.407). The only other base-runners were provided by three Chicago walks.
Rule 5 left-hander Lucas Luetge pitched two perfect innings, striking out two of the six batters he faced, and Shawn Camp worked an inning, allowing two hits but no runs.
Seattle has an 11-6-1 record heading into its last four spring training games.
Heavy rains are expected in the Phoenix area today, and teams fear rainouts around the Cactus League. The Mariners’ last spring rainout? March 21, 2011. Seattle has been rained out only four times in spring training. Ichiro Suzuki is a career .337 through 11 springs, and that average might rise after his 12th. With five hits in his last eight at-bats, Ichiro is hitting .409. Think Henn was disappointed when he was cut? In three Cactus League games, he pitched three shutout innings.
Seattle will play host to Colorado at 1 p.m. today, a game that Root Sports will televise. Probable starters: Josh Outman vs. Hector Noesi.