This is going to have to be short; I am low on time this lunch break, just wanted to address a few things.
Mike Zunino is officially now my breakout guy, as of yesterday, when he went 2 for 3, hitting a double and home run. Whatever he is doing is working, at least in Spring Training. Working with Robinson Cano seems to be paying off in doubles, at least. It will be interesting to see how he does against for-real, it-counts major league pitching, but his improvement since camp started is super encouraging, and I hope he can keep up his streak this year. Likewise, Taijuan Walker beat out Roenis Elias for that coveted spot in the rotation, throwing a nice one-run seven innings yesterday against the Angels. They aren’t saying anything official yet of course, but Elias got sent down the other day, so the choice seems pretty obvious to me. Walker has had to face a combination of both major and minor league hitting, and one run in seven innings is nothing to shake a stick at. Clearly, he is very serious about making it. Having Elias hang around is a positive as well, since JA Happ got kind of rocked last Tuesday. I understand that the Mariners wanted a veteran in the lineup, that’s fine, it’s their decision. But Happ is not proven here in Seattle, and I’d be lying if I said he doesn’t make me nervous. I always have a guy who is going to need to prove himself to me. Happ is this year’s guy. Fernando Rodney was last year’s. Rodney still scares the daylights out of me, but he does get the job done. I’d be OK with Happ doing the same thing, as long as he does, in fact, get the job done. I can live with a few scares. So it’s up to you now, JA.
More cuts happened the other day. I can’t say I’m surprised by any of them, but I’m kind of bummed out about Mark Lowe. It was unrealistic to think that he was going to make it, but now maybe I have more reason to take a few games in down south at Cheney. Also, feel free to laugh at the fact that I had completely forgotten about Joe Saunders. Poor Joe Saunders.
Lastly, the death of Victor Sanchez. For anyone reading this not familiar with the game or team (my hairdresser follows football, and thought that one of our roster guys had died), Victor Sanchez was a 20-year-old pitcher from Venezuela. He was swimming when he was run over by a boat, which caused extensive head injuries and he had been in a medically-induced coma in an effort to help him overcome skull fractures and a cranial hematoma for about a month or so. There was not much news over that time, and I had hoped that no news meant good news, but it was not to be. Mr Sanchez died in hospital on February 28th. I found out from Twitter and remember making an audible gasp, when Tom asked me what was wrong. Such a freak accident, and he was so young. A few of my friends have seen him play in Everett, and met him, saying he was a good person. I heard via Twitter that fans have created a makeshift shrine near the gates of the Ms camp in Arizona. His jersey number 48 was hung in the dugout during the training game the other day. A loss to baseball. Rest in peace, Victor.