Don Wakamatsu addressed his pitchers and catchers in his second annual "welcome to camp" meeting today, and admitted he "didn't have much material."
The best of what happens for the Seattle Mariners in spring training happens on the field, and that process began with bullpen sessions and defensive drills – plus a 300-yard shuttle run for all players in camp.
A year ago, that shuttle run – 50 yards, change direction, 50 yards, repeat – must be completed in under 60 seconds, or the runner will do it again the next day.
"Wladimir Balentien needed about three tries to get under 60," Wakamatsu said. "Today, we had a catcher finish at 59.9999, but he was under 60."
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Staff ace Felix Hernandez threw a bulllpen, and newcomer Cliff Lee, who underwent minor foot surgery last week, will throw from the mound for the first time on Feb. 24.
Erik Bedard? He's playing catch, participating in all drills – and may not get on top of the mound all spring.
"Overall, it was a quiet, businesslike day," Wakamatsu said. "It'll get louder when the position players report"
He also expects Felix and Lee to be good for one another.
"They're both competitive guys, they both work hard, and I think they'll feed off one another," Wakamatsu said. "They'll watch each other, and guys like Erik Bedard and Ryan Rowland-Smith will be watching both of them."
Incidentally, the fastest time in the 300 was turned in by Shawn Kelley, who did it in 45 seconds. And reliever Chad Cordero, who lost 25 pounds this winter, was grateful he had.
"Last year, that would have killed me," Cordero said. "Today? No problem."