Mariners Spring Training Recap: Day 6

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Mariners’ position players officially reported to camp on Wednesday morning in Arizona.

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Wednesday was a significant day for the Seattle Mariners and their fans, as position players officially reported to camp. Pitchers and catchers arrived in Peoria last week, and the rest of their teammates joined them today at the spring training complex.

Robinson Cano was a sight for sore eyes on Wednesday at the Peoria Sports Complex. The Mariners twitter account posted a special video to welcome the superstar second baseman to the desert. Cano had a miserable start to last season with Seattle, but he fought back to post a .331 batting average in the second half. A lot has been made about the numerous additions Jerry Dipoto made this winter, but a healthy and productive Robbie Cano will play a big role in determining the Mariners fate in 2016.

Another welcome sight on Wednesday morning was Nelson Cruz. The 35-year-old right fielder was phenomenal last season during his debut campaign in the Emerald City, and he will once again be looked at to lead the way offensively. Boomstick will likely have a hard time replicating his .302 batting average from 2015, but I think he will continue to be a powerful presence in the heart of the Mariners lineup. The M’s twitter account posted this picture of Cruz in the clubhouse.

One pitcher who drew a lot of attention on Wednesday was newcomer Nate Karns. The Mariners acquired the 28-year-old right-hander this winter from the Tamp Bay Rays as part of the return package for Brad Miller, Logan Morrison and Danny Farquhar. Karns is expected to compete with James Paxton and Mike Montgomery for the final spot in the Mariners starting rotation this spring. Fernando Alcala posted an interesting video on twitter of Nate’s bullpen session this morning.

There was a also a familiar face to M’s fans on the bump this morning in Peoria. Veteran right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma was spotted by Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times throwing a bullpen session. Kuma nearly ditched Seattle for Los Angeles this offseason, but he resigned with the M’s after his deal with the Dodgers fell through. Iwakuma has had trouble staying healthy the past couple seasons, and avoiding the injury bug should be his top priority entering the 2016 season.

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For the second consecutive day, Fernando Alcala provided Mariners’ fans with the most entertaining video of the day. Alcala was in the right place at the right time, and found Joel Peralta sitting on the Arizona grass playing with a dog. The veteran right-hander is fighting for a spot in the M’s opening day bullpen, and hopefully he is more successful at getting hitters out than he is at retrieving the ball from this dog’s mouth.

Next: Mariners Top 20 Prospects: #9 RHP Nick Neidert

Thursday will be the first chance for fans to see new players like Nori Aoki and Adam Lind take the field. The Mariners’ position players will be participating in various drills in Peoria. Make sure you check back with SoDo Mojo tomorrow evening for another recap of the action in Arizona. Go Mariners.

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