Good morning everyone! For today's big news story...
Larry Stone at the Seattle Times spoke to new Mariners hitting coach Edgar Martinez about his role this season and what he thinks about the team. Hidden in that article is a quote that provides clarity to something people had been noticing in pictures the M's have been putting up of Edgar: He seems to take Mike Zunino as a challenge and somewhat of a personal project of his.
"In the end, my hope is that he does have a major influence on Zunino, and does make him a project or getting him back to being somewhat close to what he was last year,'' McClendon said.
"I think it's mental. I think it's been mental for a while."
Martinez was a master of the mental aspect of the game, using visualization as a key component of his preparation. He told me he will introduce those techniques as the season progresses.
If you think about it, Martinez could very well be the perfect type of coach for this team. We have no idea what kind of impact a hitting coach has or even what makes a hitting coach a good one, but it stands to reason that someone who knows how to deal with the mental aspects of the game would be a great mentor for multiple players who seem to be struggling with that kind of thing. We know many of the hitters up and down this Mariners lineup have the talent and have had the results in their career, and perhaps some mental coaching will do them a lot of good.
In other important news around the league...
- The Mariners don't expect James Paxton to be back until August.
- MLB Daily Dish wonders if Major League Baseball is ready for a woman in the game.
- A hitter unexpectedly hit a homer against a pitcher (or rather, a particular pitch) that doesn't often surrender homers. Eno Sarris at Fangraphs looks at other pitchers who have pitches that are good at keeping down home run numbers.
- Grant Brisbee lists a trio of teams he believes need to be active at the trade deadline.
- The Rangers and Phillies are rumored to be discussing a trade revolving around Cole Hamels.
- Former Mariner farmhand Phillippe Aumont has become a free agent.
- The University of Virginia (alma mater to many players in the M's organization) has won the college world series.
- Watch a minor leaguer for the Reds make an amazing catch in the outfield.
- With Adrian Beltre back in the fold, MLB Daily Dish wonders what the Rangers should do with Joey Gallo.