Mariners Insider Blog

It's 2:50 p.m. - Know Where Your Pitching Staff Is?

In the case of the Mariners, most of them have been on ghe field for the past hour, working hard.

Rather than just run the routine wind sprint, the Mariners are running a West Coast offense in right field.

Pitchers line up - three at a time - then break down field while strength and conditioning coach Allen Wirtala plays quarterback.

They're running pass patterns hard, stretching for passes, having fun.

Felix Hernandez, between spints, is rushing the passer - and Carlos Silva is blocking him.

Felix hasn't reach the QB yet.

And a little further out in the outfield,

Erik Bedard is long-tossing, with pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre and trainer Rick Griffin watching.

There is something to be said in this lost season that Mariners pitchers are still working hard. Something to be said, perhaps, for the comraderie on the field some five hours before a game.

Silva may be too heavy, but that hasn't stopped him from running early with teammates.

Bedard's left shoulder may be something of a mystery - and it's certainly the first thing on his mind every morning - but he got to the park at 1:20 today to begin his workouts.

This isn't to say the Mariners are special, or that they do more than anyone else.

But the Angels are in a post-season mode, and they're not running conditioning drills, any more - they don't want to risk some freak injury.

The Mariners? They could take it easy, play it out and go home.

This pitching staff and its coaches are here early, running pass patterns, running the stairs in the still-empty stands and testing a tender shoulder.

Why? Because they want to.