I don't want to classify this as a game recap because it isn't only a game recap, and I was out of the house anyway. But thedid win the game, 7-2. Yay, Mariners.
The big story of the day - and the biggest story of the spring to date - is that Miguel Olivo collapsed while running home and left the field with what's being called a groin strain. He won't have an MRI until Monday, so we obviously won't know the severity for a little while, but it's easy to see how this could be problematic. Groin strains very often send players to the disabled list, and particularly severe groin strains can and have required surgery.
They're extra bad for catchers. I don't know if they're the worst for catchers, since I could see how they might be worse for pitchers or shortstops, but catchers need everything in their lower bodies to be working just right. On the bright side, Russell Martin strained his groin around this time last year and still started behind the plate on Opening Day. But then, that was supposedly a minor strain, and his initial timetable was 4-6 weeks. We really can't say much until we know how bad this is. Olivo might miss one week, or he might miss a few months.
Until Olivo comes back, it'll be Josh Bard and Adam Moore competing for the spotlight, with Chris Gimenez standing on the outside tapping lightly on the door. Some of you might be happy, since I know some of you absolutely can't stand Miguel Olivo at all, but there's no way to spin this as being good for the team. The Mariners don't need Miguel Olivo the way they need Felix Hernandez or Ichiro, but it sure would be nice to have him able to play. Hopefully this isn't too bad.
While Olivo's injury was the bad news, the good news was that Erik Bedard had another good start. Yes, he only threw 34 pitches, but that's still 25 more than he threw in his first start that got everybody all worked up. Bedard struck out the side in the first and then pitched around a walk in a more strenuous second. His velocity was good, his location was good, his arm felt good, and he threw all of his pitches, mixing in some cutters and a handful of breaking balls. All signs right now are positive.
I would imagine that, after throwing one inning in his first turn and two in his second, Bedard'll be good to go three in five days. He's getting there. He's going the same pace as the rest of the team, and as early as it is, he's yet to encounter an obstacle. You feel that? You feel that warmth? That's what Erik Bedard does. On cold frosty nights, some people like to drink so they can wrap themselves in a liquid blanket. I just think about Erik Bedard.
A few other notes:
- In a game that was apparently solid all around, the lone non-Olivo blemish was the poor inning of work turned in by Dan Cortes. Cortes allowed two runs on two hits and three walks, and those three walks were issued on a grand total of 14 fastballs. Cortes walked Luis Valbuena, Nick Weglarz, and Jack Hannahan on 14 fastballs. He also fell behind three of the other four batters he saw in the inning. At this point it's worth remembering that, of the 312 pitches Cortes threw as a reliever last season between AAA and the bigs, 127 of them (41%) were balls. This guy's interesting, but he's still exceedingly wild, and by no means a lock for the roster.
- The six Mariner relievers who pitched from the fourth inning on combined for six walks and zero strikeouts.
- Steve Baron hit a sixth-inning double that was apparently over the head of Ezequiel Carrera in center field. Between this and the home run from the other day, Baron has as many extra-base hits this spring as Ken Griffey Jr. had last season.
- James Paxton got to hang out in Peoria today and soak it all in. Not surprisingly, the organization plans to take things fairly slowly, but after getting an idea of his physical condition, it shouldn't be too long before Paxton gets to start throwing some bullpens. James Paxton has the name of someone who's a good #2 starter so yeah safe to say I'm pretty excited.