Hello again from the Mariner spring training camp. I am going to quickly give you some notes about things I have noticed over the last three days at camp.
Vinnie Catricala RAKES. I know its batting practice, and I know it’s unreliable, but for the last three days he has hit better than anyone else here. Line drives to all fields, shooting the gaps, showing some great power; he’s done it all. I saw him hit three straight homeruns today, all on line drives that were all from 360 to 420 feet.
Nick Franklin is looking really good at shortstop. I have always thought of Franklin as an offensively-focused player, but he has looked really good at shortstop. I would not hesitate to call Franklin a better infielder than Munenori Kawasaki, the Japanese infielder that was expected to be a good defensive option.
Speaking of Kawasaki, the Japanese media in crazy. There are probably about 30 Japanese media members that follow Kawasaki and starting pitcher Iwakuma around constantly, documenting their every action. Never before has a backup infielder received so much publicity.
Today, Kawasaki did not come to practice because he wanted a break from “it all” according to his trainer. Even more ironically, “it all” consists entirely of his own media since they crowd around him constantly, and Mariner fans treat him with about as much excitement as any other backup infielder. I find it funny since Kawasaki is a very similar player to Luis Rodriguez, but nobodies stalking him.
As expected, Mariner catchers are not looking great on defense; especially Montero. It is painful to watch Jesus Montero do catching drills. His movements are slow and lethargic, and he doesn’t seem to be working very hard either. His hitting is looking excellent though. Adam Moore has looked pretty good behind the plate however, and his past injuries do not appear to be hindering him. Although they are not expected to be good defensive options, Miguel Olivo and John Jaso have been working very hard behind the plate as well.
Tomorrow, the rest of the position players will report, and the camp should get quite a bit busier. Every day brings us closer to opening day.