Welcome to (weather permitting) the final links of the winter before a game day!
In Mariners news...
- The Mariners will be having Ichiro Suzuki throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at T-Mobile Park this year, after having him in the starting lineup on Opening Day the past two seasons.
- Seattle has released their expected starters, including for the first televised game Sunday:
Tentative starters for upcoming games:— Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) February 21, 2020
- There’s plenty of live BP video to enjoy, including Sam Delaplane stymying Jarred Kelenic:
- Logan Gilbert gave Mallex Smith a tough time as well.
- Corey Brock of The Athletic sat down with Kyle Lewis and talked through several at bats from last September, pitch-by-pitch.
- Baseball America released their full top-30 prospect list for the Mariners, and also named OF Jonatan Clase as their pick for a breakout, along with RHP Tim Elliott as a sleeper, and Justus Sheffield as the top rookie for this season.
- Ew and ouch. Best wishes to Mitch Haniger in his recovery.
Haniger said the herniation in his disc was so bad that the surgeon said it looked like a piece of sashimi ...— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) February 20, 2020
I'm guessing it was Ahi
- The ZiPS projected standings from FanGraphs expect Seattle to go 62-100. Yikes.
- Some positive buzz on another young player rumored to be set to sign with Seattle next July.
Mariners' 2020 International Free Agent class is headlined by 3B Starling Aguilar, but one area scout I talked to said OF Luis Bolivar may be the real prize for SEA.— Joe (@JoeDoyleMiLB) February 21, 2020
Just 15, he's 6-2, 160 with "top-shelf speed and good pop."
"Built like Buxton was." https://t.co/h748cRIC06
- Craig Edwards of FanGraphs collected the info on dead money contracts by team. The Mariners, unsurprisingly, have the second highest total in MLB.
Around the league...
- Today in “As the Astros Turn”, folks seem unsurprised at how Jim Crane has bungled this entire situation.
One MLB executive says he “not shocked” at how poorly #Astros have handled current crisis. Jim Crane was warned about coming storm, urged to gather his players to prepare for industry reaction, media questions. Crane passed on the idea. Said, “it’ll blow over by spring training."— Bob Klapisch (@BobKlap) February 20, 2020
- Things aren’t getting easier for Crane, who has been added personally to the lawsuit by former MLB pitcher Mike Bolsinger.
- In a worrying development for Yankees fans, RHP Luis Severino is still experiencing discomfort and tightness in his right forearm, stretching back to his playoff appearances.
- David Ortiz was not happy with Mike Fiers taking so long to come forward.
David Ortiz not happy w/Mike Fiers. "Oh, after you make your money, after you get your ring, you decide to talk about it? Why didn't you talk about it during the season when it was going on? Why didn't you say, 'I don't want to be no part of it?' So you're looking like a snitch."— John Tomase (@jtomase) February 20, 2020
- Eric Fisher of Sports Business writes that the MLB At-Bat App will be renaming their mobile application.
- Pirates infielder Pablo Reyes has been suspended 80 games without pay for testing positive for the PED Boldenone.
- Félix Hernández says he feels healthy and ready to contribute in Atlanta.
- Archie Bradley has won his arbitration case, while Hector Neris settled before a decision was needed.
Archie Bradley has won his arbitration case against the Arizona Diamondbacks and will be paid $4.1 million this season, per source. Hector Neris settled his case with the Philadelphia Phillies at $4.6 million. Final arbitration tally: Clubs won seven cases, players won five.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 21, 2020
- The Mets will play a spring game against the Orioles at the U.S. Naval Academy this March.
- Andre Ethier tells the Los Angeles Times analytics are a culprit in his eyes in the Astros banging scheme.
- Adam McCalvy of MLB has an oral history of the 2000 Olympic Games, with the surprise victory of the U.S. over a then-juggernaut Cuba club.
- Jonathan Lucroy spent plenty of time in the AL West, attempting to outwit the Astros. He had a lot to say on the matter to Rob Bradford of WEEI Sports.
- Ji-Man Choi is ready for spring training.
- We may see a shift in treatment of foul balls.
Hit by a foul ball? For a century, the law has basically said: Too bad.— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) February 21, 2020
A California court this week put that doctrine in jeopardy. The court refused to say “too bad,” and USA Baseball now must answer for alleged negligence.https://t.co/o7DxBKENPO
- Rob Arthur of Baseball Prospectus continued his detailed research on the sign-stealing scandal, noting that while Jose Altuve may have a good defense in the data that he wasn’t using the team’s scheme, the 2018 Red Sox look mighty guilty.
- Dr. Nick Elam helped craft the much-enjoyed new rules for the conclusion of the NBA All-Star Game. He was recently asked about how he might attempt to tweak the rules in MLB, and had an interesting answer I’d never heard before.
The Elam Ending made its @NBA debut at this year's ASG— The Athletic MLB (@TheAthleticMLB) February 21, 2020
⚾ What would the inventor of the @ElamEnding do to fix baseball?
He shared his thoughts on this week's episode of @back2backpod Nerder She Wrote with @DaveDuFourNBA @MoDakhil_NBA @SethPartnowhttps://t.co/hblGxQJAqH pic.twitter.com/QiMkGTlwNp