Sunday, February 20, 2011

MARINERS: Week Wrap up

Written by Matthew Carlson

Ah, Spring Training has sprung. A time where every fan base has renewed hope that it's team has a chance. Pitchers and catchers reported last Sunday, and all position players were supposed to report on Thursday. So far, we’ve heard that pitcher Erik Bedard has progressed very well with his workouts, Ichiro and Jack Cust have become friends, and Milton Bradley and manager Eric Wedge have said they've gotten past the incidents of their Cleveland days. To Continue...

Speaking of Wedge, the 43 year old skipper addressed the entire team behind closed doors on Saturday. Regarding it, 3rd Baseman Chone Figgins said:

“He wants everybody to understand what type of team we are and how to come together. It’s pretty simple. That’s what I liked about what he said.”

Coming into Spring Training, it looks as if the positions of closer and left field will be the most competitive. With David Aardsma on crutches, the closer job is a toss up between Brandon League (the favorite), Dan Cortes, and Chris Ray. Left field is a jumbled melting pot of Milton Bradley, Michael Saunders (the favorite for the job), Jody Gerut, Ryan Langerhans, and Gabe Gross.

Referring to the middle infield competition, Wedge said shortstop Jack Wilson, often injured since the Mariners traded for him in 2009, will have to show he can stay healthy this season. If not, ex St. Louis Cardinal Brendan Ryan will be there to step in.

"I want Jack Wilson and Brendan Ryan to be over there and we'll watch them both,'' Wedge said. "Jack's had some issues staying healthy. He's got to show us we can count on him physically. And Jack might even take some reps at second base.''

So at the moment, it seems as if Jack Wilson will, if healthy and productive, start at shortstop. As for second base, Brendan Ryan, Adam Kennedy, and Josh Wilson will be competing for that spot. Nothing is etched in stone yet, and all of this is subject to change and how well each of them do in Spring Training games.

That's it for the Mariners wrap up. There should be more news next week, with games starting next Sunday.

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