Hungry Mariners' quest for playoffs starts today

The Mariners are taking the first step toward a new day and a new season as spring training games begin this afternoon.
Seattle Mariners v Chicago Cubs
Seattle Mariners v Chicago Cubs / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

There is a common theme from Mariner players and management this spring: this team is hungry. And they should be considering the way their 2023 season ended. Superstar Julio Rodriguez, fresh off cracking the Top 10 in MLB Network's Top 100 players list, has an air of accountability and purpose in his pressers. Even MLB insider Jon Paul Morosi is in on the Mariners, stating the moves they made have the team in prime position to compete for the division. There is a ton of helium around this team, especially since they have yet to throw a competitive Cactus League inning.

Well, that is all about to change later today. While many players have worked out at the Peoria Sports Complex for the past few weeks, actual games start this afternoon, with the Mariners taking on the White Sox. We can officially say Mariner spring training has begun.

There are some things to remember if you plan on watching or listening at home. First, the lineups will look different from the projected opening day starting nine. On Servais ' lineup card, you might see a couple of starters and a cast of characters like Cole Tucker, Michael Chavis, and Samad Taylor. Still, those role players could play critical parts in the big league club achieving their goal, whether having a nuclear spring resulting in a bench role or providing essential depth in Tacoma.

Second, starters will be on pitch counts for the next few weeks. That means you might see Servais pulling pitchers mid-inning if they've eclipsed pitching coach Pete Woodworth's number. Additionally, following box scores can get dicey. There could end up with eight to ten pitchers and as many as 18 position players getting game action. However, the benefit of cycling players in and out includes plenty of late-game at-bats for promising prospects like Cole Young, Felnin Celestin, Harry Ford, and Lazaro Montes.

It's officially official. Spring has sprung for a hungry Mariner team looking to wipe the taste of a bitter 2023 out of their mouths. It all starts today at 2:05 Pacific Standard Time, Root Sports NW and Seattle Sports 710 AM will cover all the action. Play ball!