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Mariners Moose Tracks, 1/27/17: Kyle Lewis, David Ortiz, and Vince Carter

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It’s the end of the work week at last!

MLB: ALDS-Cleveland Indians at Boston Red Sox Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning everyone and happy Friday! It’s the end of the work week and it’s time for some news from around the baseball world.

Yesterday, the Mariners held a pre-spring training press conference. There was a lot of interesting stuff from it, which Shannon Drayer breaks down in her latest post. I’m hoping that there will be some full videos posted from it in the near future.

One of the most interesting things coming out of the luncheon was actually a piece of bad news: Kyle Lewis isn’t likely to be back in action until around the All-Star Break. Hearing this is no doubt very disappointing for Mariners fans. I was hoping to watch Lewis — one of the M’s last top prospects — play all season long. It turns out Lewis’ social media videos and posts have been overly optimistic this entire time.

Given Lewis’ timetable, it makes sense that the M’s decided to stack up on center fielders this offseason. Lewis still has to recover from his injury and then climb through the minors. That process could take a couple of seasons at best. So while it might make sense for the team to start thinking about clearing room for someone like him, they don’t need to rush it.

The outfielder who is making a more immediate sprint to the door to the majors is Tyler O’Neill. If things go right, O’Neill could see some time towards the end of the 2017 season. Hopefully by then at least one outfielder will have underperformed and the Canadian can slide right in seamlessly.

There was a bunch of good news to come out of the press conference as well, so I strongly recommend you take a look at it.

Now let’s see what else happened yesterday in sports.

In Mariners news...

  • At the press conference, the Mariners also provided the latest news on Tony Zych and Steve Cishek as they aim to return from surgery.
  • The Richie Shaffer journey continues as the infielder was claimed yesterday by the Indians. I applaud him for being such a good sport about it.
  • The M’s announced their list of non-roster spring training invites.
  • Although Dustin Ackley won’t have his jersey number retired by any MLB team, his college honored him yesterday.
  • I’m doing a little bit of self-promotion here, but heck it. I appeared on NBC Sports AM 1060 the other day to talk Mariners baseball. Here’s a recording of my segment on the show.

Around the league...

  • Giancarlo Stanton is suiting up for Team USA at the World Baseball Classic. His addition makes the squad a million times more exciting.
  • The Angels could catch baseball by surprise this year, writes Grant Brisbee. But with Mike Trout on your team, it’s awfully easy to be on the fringe of contention.
  • Craig Edwards at Fangraphs takes a look at Omar Vizquel’s Hall of Fame case. The shortstop was one of baseball’s best defenders, but his horrible bat could keep him out of the conversation.
  • Brandon Morrow is still in baseball, apparently. The pitcher agreed to a minor league deal with the Dodgers.
  • DRaysBay profiled former Mariners prospect and new Rays pitcher Ryan Yarbrough. Although he wasn’t exactly a top prospect, I was looking forward to seeing him in Mariners teal and I hope he succeeds in Tampa.
  • Craig Calcaterra thinks the Indians may have missed their opportunity to remove the Chief Wahoo logo from their uniforms. Spring training is awfully close and this is around the time we would start to hear about uniform changes.
  • It’s certainly no surprise, but David Ortiz’s jersey number will be retired by the Boston Red Sox in a ceremony on June 23rd.
  • Rangers pitcher Jake Diekman recently underwent surgery to remove his colon. We wish him the best of luck in his journey to recovery.
  • Baseball America presents all of the slot totals for the 2017 baseball draft.

Anders’ picks...

  • Vince Carter may be 40 years old, but that won’t stop him from making crazy-athletic plays.