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Early Thoughts On Spring Training

It's about time I post something this month, but the problem is that there just isn't much to be said that isn't already being said by others. Spring training is fun, but it's hard to evaluate much of what going on when a) all you have are radio broadcasts b) players only get a few ABs, or 20-30 pitches, and c) in those few opportunities, many are trying to get rust off/work on something new.

So I don't write much about spring training, other than it's fun for what it is. Personally, I don't put too much stock in spring performances unless they are way too good or bad to ignore. So far, nobody has had time to be stellar, and only Garret Olson and Kenn Kasparek have had forgettable outings.

I've come up with a few thoughts to share though:

  • I hope Chone Figgins stays at second, and Jose Lopez at third. Statistics and scouting both give good reasons to believe the move will work, and a few weeks into the experiment, both players seem to be acclimating fairly well.
  • I wonder how long Dustin Ackley will stay in the major league camp. He is getting rave reviews much like Brandon Morrow did in his first spring training. That scares me a little, but there's absolutely no room for Ackley on the opening day roster. Personally, I would still send him down once minor league camp opens up. There are enough guys that need to get work in who figure to be a part of the 2010 Mariners, and Dustin will be best served getting a lion's share of time on the field, instead of a few innings here and there.
  • Matt Tuiasosopo is off to a hot start, much like last spring training. Undoubtedly, that will increase interest in his chances to make the opening day roster. He projects as one of the final cuts anyway.
  • Mike Sweeney is off to a hot start too. There is no spot for him on the roster, but if he continues to hit well, what do the Mariners do? The players are professionals, but Sweeney was such a big part of the team last year, and he has asserted himself in the clubhouse yet again. Add a strong spring, and his situation will be as delicate as an aging non-roster invitee's can be.
  • I would like to see Ryan Garko get some time behind the plate. By all accounts, he only moved because Victor Martinez was ahead of him in the Indians organization. Garko becomes a much more valuable commodity if he can catch some.
  • Respected M's reporter Shannon Drayer has said multiple times that Eric Byrnes "looks fast" out on the field. Coming off significant leg injuries, that is worth noting. I'm not convinced his legs caused all of his problems that past few seasons, but he at least has a chance to prove me wrong if his legs are indeed strong and healthy.
Those are some of my thoughts, in no particular order. I'm open to more, and may even post more of my own in the comments if something pops up. Most of all, it's nice to have some sort of baseball action to talk about again.