PEORIA, Ariz. — Felix Hernandez and Robinson Cano appear on one of Sports Illustrated’s regional covers for its annual baseball preview.
On it, Felix Hernandez is standing with arms extended and bellowing to the heavens, while Robinson Cano looks on in leaned-back wonderment.
Sports Illustrated also put the Kansas City, Cleveland and Washington on its regional covers.
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The magazine says Mariners’ cover is available to subscribers and from newsstands in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Hawaii and Alaska.
The Royals’ cover is available in Missouri, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas and New Mexico.
The Indians’ cover is available in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska.
The Nationals’ cover is available on the East Coast.
The other covers:
REPORT ON IWAKUMA
The day-after reports were glowing for Hisashi Iwakuma’s effort Monday while pitching for Triple-A Tacoma against Round Rock (Texas) in Peoria.
“Outstanding,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “He threw the ball extremely well. Great command of the split. The fastball was in and out, up and down. He really commanded the zone very well.”
The Mariners kept Iwakuma in Peoria rather than have him face the Los Angeles Angels in Tempe because he is expected to face them in the regular season’s first series.
Iwakuma gave up two runs and six hits in five innings while striking out eight and walking one. He threw 44 of 72 pitches for strikes.
“I had a good feel with the split,” Iwakuma said. “It is starting to dive a lot. I feel like I could start the season right now physically. It’s just all mental from here out.”
Iwakuma is scheduled to start Saturday against San Francisco at Peoria Stadium in what projects in his next-to-last spring outing. He is in line to pitch the third game of the regular season.
Backup catcher Jesus Sucre remains slowed by a sore hamstring, which he suffered after getting hit Sunday by a foul ball.
“They said he’s feeling a lot better,” McClendon said. “They want to give him one more day. I don’t foresee this being a long-term thing.”
OPENING DAY PREVIEW?
McClendon dodged the question — well, he attempted to dodge the question — when asked whether Tuesday’s lineup against San Diego is the one he plans to use in the April 6 opener against the Angels.
“I can’t answer that,” he said. “I don’t even know what the lineup is. Trent made it.”
It’s true enough that bench coach Trent Jewett actually penned the lineup card in his distinctive handwriting. But, for the record, McClendon signed it.
The lineup: CF Austin Jackson, RF Seth Smith, 2B Robinson Cano, DH Nelson Cruz, 3B Kyle Seager, 1B Logan Morrison, C Mike Zunino, LF Dustin Ackley and SS Brad Miller.