ARLINGTON, Texas. – Before heading home for the first time since early February, manager Eric Wedge spent a few minutes Thursday morning answering questions about his Seattle Mariners.
It was a shotgun interview by a handful of media types, and covered considerable ground.
Wedge’s thoughts on
The catching of rookie Jesus Montero: “I don’t know where the belief that he doesn’t catch well comes from, other than social media. I thought he did a fine job throughout spring training, he’s just turned 22 and there’s no reason to rush him. I think he can be a fine catcher.”
The pitching of rookie left-hander Lucas Luetge: “He pushed his way through the eighth inning (Wednesday), pitching to right-handed hitters and lefties in the heart of the Rangers’ lineup. We had a lot of left-handers in camp when spring began, what separated Luetge was his ability to get (out) lefties and righties.”
The hitting approach of outfielder Michael Saunders: “The key is, with his new approach, he has a better base to hit from. He comes to the plate with a different mindset. The Rangers pitched him really tough this series, but when he gets his pitch, he doesn’t miss it.”
The pitching of reliever Steve Delabar: “He spun a slider up there (Wednesday) and it got hit out. It comes down to location, no matter how hard you throw.”
On Alex Liddi and Casper Wells being in the lineup Thursday: “This was planned since the start of the trip, when we knew we were facing a lefty in Derek Holland today. We’re hoping they can help us with him.”
On sitting Dustin Ackley and Saunders for a day: “We’re dealing with typical early-season soreness, nothing out of the norm.”
When was the last time the Mariners came back to score at least three runs in their final half-inning to win a road game? Turns out it was April 10, 2010 – against the Texas Rangers. Reliever Hisashi Iwakuma turned 31 on Thursday. Something you rarely see in Texas: In pregame ceremonies, a Dallas Zoo director threw out the first pitch, accompanied to the mound by a pair of waddling penguins. Cool. For planning purposes, here’s the Mariners’ starting rotation for the next three days: Felix Hernandez, Hector Noesi and Blake Beavan. Kyle Seager has four career home runs, two of those against the Rangers. The Mariners’ offense came home with three regulars hitting .300 or better: Chone Figgins (.303), Ichiro Suzuki (.303) and Seager (.321). Overall, the team batting average is .252, and Seattle has scored 31 runs in eight games. Last season, the Mariners hit .233 and scored 3.4 runs per game.
Seattle opens its home season with a 7:05 p.m. game against Oakland today that will be on Root Sports. Probable starting pitchers: Oakland’s Bartolo Colon (1-1, 5.84 ERA) vs. Hernandez (1-0, 4.40).
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