The Seattle Mariners 2013 Winter Caravan kicked off earlier this week with John Jaso, Mike Carp, Dan Wilson, Dave Sims and the Mariner Moose making stops in Covington, Tacoma and Lacey. Here are some photos captured by team photographer Ben Van Houten.
The Mariners added seven players to the active roster today, bringing the total number of players available for tonight’s game vs. the Red Sox to 34. Major League Baseball allows teams to expand their active roster to any player on the 40-man roster. Today’s additions included the following players:
- DH/1B Mike Carp recalled from his rehabilitation assignment at AAA Tacoma and activated from 15-day DL
- DH/1B Luis Jimenez selected from AAA Tacoma
- RHP Shawn Kelley recalled from AAA Tacoma
- INF Alex Liddi recalled from AAA Tacoma
- RHP Hector Noesi recalled from AAA Tacoma
- INF Carlos Triunfel recalled from AAA Tacoma
- OF Casper Wells recalled from AAA Tacoma
To make room for Jimenez on the 40-man roster, outfielder Johermyn Chavez was designated for assignment.
Most know about Carp, Kelley, Liddi, Noesi and Wells, who have played for the Mariners already this season, but here is some information on two players who will be making their Major League debuts.
Jimenez (#39), 30, will be making his Major League debut with his first appearance. Named the Tacoma Rainiers Offensive Player of the Year, Jimenez hit .310 (146×471) with 32 doubles, 20 home runs and 81 RBI in 125 games. A PCL All-Star, he hit .364 (36×99) with 19 runs scored, 9 doubles, 1 triple, 7 home runs and 23 RBI over 28 games in August. During the month, he led the PCL in on-base percentage (.462) and OPS (1.148), while ranking 2nd in slugging (.687) and total bases (68), T2nd in extra-base hits (17), 5th in average (.364), T5th in RBI (23) and home runs (7) and T9th in hits (35). Jimenez reached base safely in 28 consecutive games, April 29-June 1, batting .382 (39×102) with 22 runs scored, 8 doubles, 5 home run and 24 RBI; was tied for the 10th-longest streak in the PCL this season.
Triunfel (#8), 22, will be making his Major League debut in his first appearance. He becomes the second-youngest player on the team, the youngest position player (Erasmo Ramirez is two months younger). Triunfel is ranked by Baseball America as Seattle’s No. 25 prospect; listed as having the “Best Infield Arm” in the farm system. He finished 2nd on the Rainiers with 129 hits, 31 doubles, 62 RBI. Carlos set a career-high with 10 home runs (previous: 7, 2010 with West Tenn), 31 doubles (previous: 28, 2011 combined between Jackson and Tacoma) and 62 RBI (previous: 49, 2008 with High Desert). He was named the Rainiers Defensive Player of the Year.
Here is a look at the Mariners active Major League roster:
It has been nearly seven months since the world lost Greg Halman but his impact is still being felt and will be appreciated for years to come.
On Saturday, June 23, the Everett AquaSox organization retired the number 26 which Halman donned during his two seasons in Everett.
“Like everyone, we were saddened by Gregory’s loss,” said AquaSox Executive Vice President, Tom Backemeyer. “He played in Everett for two seasons, and not only was he one of the best players to ever wear an AquaSox uniform; he was a wonderful young man too. We wanted to find a way to honor his memory and decided that retiring his number was the most appropriate way to do it.”
In his two seasons with the AquaSox (2006 and 2007), Halman, an outfielder, batted a combined .291 with 21 home runs, 52 RBI and 26 stolen bases in 90 games. As a 19 year-old in 2007, he was voted as a Northwest League All-Star after batting .307 with 16 home runs in 62 games.
During the pre-game ceremony, Halman’s host mother in Everett read a touching letter from Halman’s mother in the Netherlands in which she thanks the Everett community. “Gregory loved everything about Everett. The community, the fans, the organization, the stadium, the team and last but not least his host family,” said Hanny Suidgeest, Gregory Halman’s mother. “Gregory stayed for two years with the Chapman-family. We would like to thank Jim and Kathy Chapman and their family for having Gregory in their home and treating him like he was a son to them.”
Former teammates Mike Carp, Alex Liddi, Adam Moore, Johan Limonta and Mike Wilson each took time to remember their fallen friend in a video tribute to Greg Halman.
The idea to retire his number came from a young fan named Luke Frost who was touched by a simple gesture by Greg during Spring Training in Arizona.
Cactus League Report:
The Cactus League Report makes its Salty Señorita debut tonight from 7-9 p.m. at the Peoria location. Rick Rizzs, Dave Sims and Shannon Drayer will host the 2-hour show, and fans in the Valley of the Sun are invited to attended the radio show and meet the hosts and guests. Scheduled guests include Tony Blengino, Robby Thompson, Forrest Snow, Danny Hultzen, Shawn Kelley, Kyle Seager and Larry Stone from the Seattle Times. Fans can listen to the show in Seattle on ESPN 710 Seattle from 7-9 PT, and here is a link to listen online via Mariners.com.
Tonight on Mariners Mondays at 8pm on ROOT SPORTS, the Mariners turn on the offense.
The program includes highlights of two games from last August, both featuring some timely hitting by Mike Carp.
First up, August 29, Mariners vs. Angels. The Mariners and Angels are tied in the 8th inning at 3-3. Dustin Ackley, who already had a couple of hits and RBI, lead off the inning with a double. Carp sent the first pitch he saw into the Hit It Here Cafe in right field for a two-run homer. Final score, Mariners over Angels 5-3.
Ichiro also had two doubles and extended his hitting streak to a season high 12-games.
Rookie Tom Wilhelmsen got the win with one inning of relief.
Highlights of the second game, August 31 (again against the Angels), again featured some late inning heroics by Carp.
The Angels held a 1-0 lead behind the outstanding pitching of Dan Haren. Felix Hernandez is also pitching well, but the offense is stalled. In the 8th inning (again), the Mariners rally with two outs when Franklin Gutierrez and Ackley hit back-to-back singles to end Haren’s night. Carp stepped up to the plate against reliever Scott Downs and drilled a two-run double to the base of the wall in left-center field.
Felix held the 2-1 lead, got the win and a complete game, his fifth of the season, and 18th of his career.
Next week on Mariners Mondays, Big Comebacks.
Day 11 / Wednesday, February 22, 2012 / 35 Days ‘til Opening Night in Tokyo (March 28 vs. Oakland) / 51 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle (April 13 vs. Oakland)
Today’s workout started with temperatures hovering around 53° and climbed to near 70° as practice ended. The next few days are supposed to heat up, with high temperatures expected in the 80’s.
The workout was almost a carbon-copy of Day 10. Today’s workout consisted of baserunning on Field 6 from 9:45-10:05. A couple of the players had to be cautious when rounding third base and when they approached home plate due to the field still being a little damp. The team fundamental today was working on pop-ups and infield/outfield communication on Field 3. A group of 16 pitchers threw live BP today on Fields 3, 4 & 5, including Kevin Millwood, Brandon League, Hector Noesi and Hisashi Iwakuma. Mike Carp again put on a hitting display in batting practice and live BP against RHP Scott Patterson.
Quotes of the Day:
“They kind of knocked heads there, but if you are going to have two guys knock heads, those are two pretty good ones” manager Eric Wedge when asked about the pop-up drill when Miguel Olivo and Justin Smoak collided near home plate.
“Cheater” from a group of pitchers to Charlie Furbush as he broke towards first base during PFP drills, but AAA pitching coach Dwight Bernard hit one right back to the mound.
“Polar Bear was trying to get me” from Brandon League as he was almost hit by a high pop fly from the pitching machine during pop-up communications drills.
“Heads up, heavy hitters coming through” from Brendan Ryan to manager Eric Wedge as he led his hitting group consisting of himself, Munenori Kawasaki, Chone Figgins and Dustin Ackley onto Field 3 for live BP.
Outfielder Carlos Peguero celebrated his 25th birthday today.
Tweet of the Day:
— David aardsma (@TheDA53) February 22, 2012
Mark it Down:
The first of four Intrasquad games will be held Friday (Feb. 24) at 12:45 p.m. The game is scheduled to be 8 innings, with Jason Vargas and Danny Hultzen scheduled to be the starting pitchers. A “B” game has also been added to the Cactus League schedule for March 5 at Cincinnati. The “B” games do not count towards the Cactus League records and are designed to get players extra at-bats or additional pitchers innings. Here is an updated listing of recent schedule changes:
|Feb. 24 – 12:45 pm|
|Feb. 26 – 12:45 pm|
|Feb. 28 – 12:45 pm|
|Feb. 29 – TBA|
|March 5 at Cincinnati – 10 am|
|March 8 at Colorado – 10 am|
|Cactus League Game Addition:|
|March 16 vs. Milwaukee (at Tucson) – Split Squad – 1 pm|
Lights, Camera, Action:
The Mariners Marketing crew began shooting the 2012 edition of their award-winning commercials this afternoon. Not going to play the spoiler role, but over the next three days the marketing crew, along with Copacino+Fujikado & Blue Goose Productions will shoot five commercials, featuring 14 players (Felix Hernandez, Ichiro, Brendan Ryan, Justin Smoak, Franklin Gutierrez, Miguel Olivo, Casper Wells, Dustin Ackley, Kyle Seager, Jason Vargas, Brandon League, Jesus Montero, Chone Figgins) and manager Eric Wedge. There may even be a Larry Bernandez sighting! Each year the marketing crew puts together some of the best (and funniest) commercials in all of baseball. The 2011 commercials won an award at the 2011 ProMaxBDA Sports Media Marketing Summit.
Don Carson, the President of Don & Charlie’s restaurant in Scottsdale, and a must-see destination during spring training visited camp this morning…Mariners team photographer Ben Van Houten also arrived in camp to shoot pictures for the commercials and for the publications you will see throughout the season…reporter Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle arrived for her first day in camp and will be with the squad throughout the remainder of spring training and in Japan…you can follow her Mariners Blog and her twitter feed for some great information…representatives from Wilson Baseball Gloves had all their mitts lined up for players to look at and order for the upcoming season…the Topps Baseball Card Company also had a representative in the clubhouse talking about upcoming baseball cards…there was again an national media presence in camp with Jorge Arangure (ESPN.com), Bob Nightengale (USA Today) and Dave Sheinin (The Washington Post) covering the Mariners.
Shortstop Brendan Ryan threw on the side for about 5 minutes at 60 feet. Ryan has been sidelined by a sore elbow…Franklin Gutierrez and Trayvon Robinson were limited in practice with hamstring tightness…former Mariner closer David Aardsma, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery, signed as a free agent with the New York Yankees.
Day 8 / Sunday, February 19, 2012 / 37 Days ‘til Opening Night in Tokyo / 53 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle
Weather: It was 52-degrees and windy this morning but the temperatures rose to 64-degrees by the end of the workout. There were plenty of media members who were shaking after forgetting their jackets.
Quote of the Day: “Where’s your camera?” Felix Hernandez said to ROOT SPORTS Jen Mueller. Mueller jokingly asked why he was doing a KING 5 interview (with Chris Egan) before doing the ROOT interview. After Jen pointed across the parking lot to the auxiliary clubhouse Felix exclaimed “TOO FAR!” as he continued to walk with Egan.
Tweet of the Day:
Jeremy Lin!! Taking advantage of the opportunity given!! #Linspiration
— Brandon League (@BrandonLeague43) February 19, 2012
The Day: Day 8 was the first day of live batting practice. The first group of hitters, including Franklin Gutierrez, Ichiro, Mike Carp and Justin Smoak, had to face the ace of the staff Felix Hernandez.
None of the four players made contact against any of Felix’s pitches…which was probably because nobody swung at any of the pitches. While players are not under instructions not to swing (on some fields), most hitters use the first day to track pitches as they are coming in and ease back in to live pitching.
Felix got a bit of a scare earlier in the day during infield drills as Miguel Olivo fired a throw down to second base and while he didn’t see it, the ball was traveling fast enough (and close enough) for him to hear it whiz by.
One player who did swing on the first day of live batting practice was Casper Wells. With Charlie Furbush on the mound, Wells hit a screamer back to the box that went beween Charlie’s legs. While no players were harmed on that line drive, Charlie’s heart most certainly skipped a beat.
Early in the workout over on Field 6, all of the position players worked on baserunning, the infielders took grounders and the outfielders worked on tracking line drives before spreading out to various fields.
On Field 3, the catchers (and infielders) worked on first-and-third defense before the position players grabbed bats.
On Field 3 (where Felix Hernandez was) and 5, hitters were allowed to swing at the pitches. On Field 4 there was also live batting practice, but the hitters were not allowed to swing because there were also baserunning drills going on. Position players also worked on bunting in the cages and in the bullpen while over on Field 6, the coaches threw BP for the players towards the end of the workout.
The marketing group of Michael Ferguson, Nick Pope and Olav Nossum showed up in the wee hours of the day once again to get green screen footage and through three full days have now completed their work with 29 of the 67 players in camp. Tomorrow, Shawn Kelley, Chone Figgins, Felix Hernandez, Franklin Gutierrez and Mike Carp (among others) are schedule for their close-ups.
Day 2 / Monday, February 13, 2012 / 43 Days ‘til Opening Night in Tokyo / 59 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle
Weather: Sunny skies with temperatures in the low to mid-60 during workouts this morning. Temperatures are continuing to warm up through the afternoon, but rain may be in the forecast for tomorrow.
Quote of the Day: Shortstop Munenori Kawasaki introducing himself to teammates, staff and media: “I am Munenori Kawasaki. Kawasaki…VROOM VROOM.” Kawasaki signed a Minor League contract with the Mariners in January and is excited to be in camp.
The Day: Pitchers and catchers were on field for the second day of camp. After day one and figuring out which field to be on and at what time, day two went smoothly with everyone getting where they needed to be on time.
Sixteen pitchers had bullpens today after 18 did yesterday, including RH Hisashi Iwakumi, RH Hector Noesi, RH Brandon League and RH Kevin Millwood. General Manager Jack Zduriencik and Manager Eric Wedge have been impressed early with the pitchers in camp.
Pitchers continued working on PFP (Pitchers Fielding Practice) drills, including fielding a bunt and covering first on a ball hit to the right side of the infield. Infielders Mike Carp, Kyle Seager and Nick Franklin stood in as first baseman for the pitchers on one of the fields. Catchers also worked on controlling the running game and throwing out runners at second base.
The catchers wrapped up the day split into two hitting groups. While working on hitting to all sides of the field, Jesus Sucre hit a screaming line drive up the middle and nearly took out coach Nasusel Cabrera gathering balls in shallow center field. Cabrera had to jump out of the way and used a ball bucket to deflect the ball. The rest of the coaching staff laughed and continued to give Cabrera a hard time until BP was over. Jesus Montero, Miguel Olivo and Adam Moore each hit multiple home runs into the parking lot.
Big offense is the theme for this week’s Mariners Mondays (7:30pm on ROOT SPORTS™). Each week through March 5, ROOT SPORTS is highlighting big games from the 2011 season, helping to tide baseball fans over until Spring Training gets underway in earnest.
The Hot Stove League show will be hosted by Shannon Drayer and Matt Pitman. Fans can listen locally in the Puget Sound region on 710 ESPN Seattle and over the Internet on Mariners.com. Guests for the show are scheduled to include:
- Hitting Coach Chris Chambliss
- Catcher Miguel Olivo
- OF Casper Wells
- RHP Aaron Heilman
- ESPN.com writer Jim Caple
- Mariners Vice President of Marketing Kevin Martinez (talking about the 35th anniversary events and what the club has in store for the 2012 edition of the famous commercials).
Here is a teaser for the Mariners Mondays games that will be highlighted tonight on ROOT SPORTS™:
Tonight, moments of Biblical proportions (as in the old joke “In the Big Inning…”). Let’s go back to June 5, Mariners vs. Tampa Bay Rays. The Mariners have taken two out of three from the Rays, with the final game of the four-game series on tap. The big hit of the game is a tie-breaking three-run homer by Miguel Olivo in the 8th inning. But the game was notable for a couple of two-run triples, one of baseball’s most exciting hits. One by Ichiro in the 3rd inning, and in a bittersweet moment, Greg Halman’s 2011 debut with a triple in the 7th. Halman had three hits in the game.
The next series of highlights are from the August 24 game at Cleveland. Two games were rained out in May, so the Mariners and Indians made up one of the games on the Mariners return trip in August (the second game would be made up in September… see below). The Mariners won the first game of the series 3-2 on March 22, split the doubleheader on March 23 with a 12-7 win in the nightcap, and bashed out another 16 hits on their way to a 9-2 win in game four. The offensive star of the day was rookie Kyle Seager, who was 4-for-4 with three doubles and a single. Seager’s college teammate at the University of North Carolina, Dustin Ackley, also got in on the act going 3-for-5. And Willy Mo Peña had a good game with a two-run home run, a double and a single. Oh, and Felix Hernandez had another good outing striking out 10, the 17th time in his career he reached double digits.
For the third game of the evening, the Mariners 12-6 win over the Indians on Sept. 19 is highlighted. And wouldn’t you know it, it’s raining. (What is it with bad weather for our games in Cleveland?) Starting pitcher Charlie Furbush got plenty of run support in the 12-6 rain-shortened game for his first win in over a month. He had a career-high 8 strikeouts and was buoyed by the Mariners 9-run third inning, including Alex Liddi’s first MLB homer, and a Mike Carp grand slam. By the way, Liddi’s homer was the first by an Italian-born player since Reno Bertoia hit one in 1961.
– RH / JE
The baseball world, and more specifically the Mariners family, was shocked and saddened by the untimely death of outfielder Greg Halman on November 21, 2011. For most of us, his passing is just now starting to set in as pitchers and catchers report along with some position players, this week.
Greg might not be in the Mariners clubhouse at the Peoria Sports Complex, but as Greg Johns wrote today on Mariners.com, his spirit and his memory are being carried on by his teammates.
Mike Carp not only lost a friend and a teammate, he lost a brother. Carp arrived in camp and it was clear that he wanted to keep some part of Greg in everybody’s thoughts.
As MLB.com’s Greg Johns wrote here right before the Christmas holiday:
Carp wants people to know who Greg Halman was and what he could have been. He says the 24-year-old had something special about him, a presence and light that lifted everyone around him. And after finally making it to the Majors for 35 games this past season, he was just scratching the surface of what he could be on the diamond.
Carp traveled to Holland along with Dan Cortes, Adam Moore, Alex Liddi and Matt Mangini to support the Halman family through a difficult time. When he arrived, he saw the impact that Greg had on his community.
“His legacy will live on, especially in Holland,” Carp said. “And the people he touched here, he made them better. There will be a lot of people who, I’m not going to say are angry, but will be on a mission now. It’s going to change a lot of people’s lives for the better.
“That was the effect he had. He wanted to make people better. It was never about him, it was about everybody else and what they needed.”
Carp also made a personal and permanent addition to himself. Over the offseason, he made the commitment and added some ink, much like the ink that Greg sported on his arms, a sleeve of artwork.
As he told Greg Johns:
“I have him right here,” the 25-year-old said, tapping the new tattoo on his left bicep. “He actually had this on his own arm. So when I went to Holland, his mom gave me a picture of it and I took it to my guy and had it put on in the same spot and everything.
“He’ll be with me for the rest of my life.”
The artwork was inspired by Halman who had many of the same elements that Carp has incorporated into his own canvas.
The “My World” tattoo is an exact replica of the one that Greg had, clearly seeing the stitching of the baseball, and if you look closely enough, you’ll see marks to depict where Greg is in the Netherlands, and where Carp will be in Seattle.
While not completely visible in the slideshow below, Carp has a “G” on one side of the world and an “H” on the other with “No Grind No Shine” (Greg’s favorite saying) also being part of the art that surround the world.