Photo Credit: Kitsap Sun
Below I have listed 5-1 the most important things that have happened so far in Peoria for the Mariners this year. I will make my best attempt to stay positive, but if you have been a die-hard M’s fan over the last decade you will know that’s not an easy thing to do. Here we go!
5. Figgins moves to leadoff, Ichiro to 3rd in lineup
I know this happened right at the beginning of Spring Training and has been beat like a dead horse, but come on? When this thing flops with Chone leading off how long will Manager Eric Wedge let this thing run out? Figgins has given me absolutely no reason in the last couple years to start him in the leadoff spot. Our payroll is already down from previous years, why can’t we just scrub that saved money and cut this guy already? Ichiro on the other hand will be an interesting attempt at moving a perennial All-Star lead-off hitter into the power slot. I don’t see many homeruns, but if Ackley gets his at bats in the 2 hole; and drive the ball to the gaps which he is capable of, Ichiro should have ample opportunities to drive in runs.
4. The “Core Four” made leaps and bounds
Who is the “Core Four” you might ask? None other than Paxton, Walker, Hultzen and Ramirez. These guys not only hung with big leaguers in real game situations they excelled. Paxton and Hultzen are drawing praise for their poise and unearned experience while Taijuan Walker with his raw talent and athleticism is getting compared to Doc Gooden; cranking his fastball up to 95 mph with a 72 mph curve…NASTY. Even though these young men shined, they are still young men; with recent cuts, Erasmo Ramirez is the last of the “Core Four” to be on the Major League squad surprising everyone. Wedge weighs in on his outlook of Ramiriez here. He is only 21 years old and had success in a partial season at Tacoma last year and was amazing in the Venezuela Winter League. Keep an eye on these men closely as they will be the bedrock for the Mariners for years to come.no comments