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Updated: 2018-02-23T11:10:02-08:00


2/23/18: Mariners vs. Padres Open Game Thread


BASEBALL IS (kinda) BACK, BABY Like the first rays of morning light after a long, dark night of the soul, the first glimmers of baseball—and summer, and warmth, and lingering Safeco sunsets—appear today. The Mariners will play the Padres in a game that does not matter, at all, and I personally couldn’t be more delighted. For the first time this season... Lineups: The Mariners are playing about half their projected regular lineup. The Padres are playing...I am embarrassed at how few of those names I recognize. I was hoping we might get to see some of the top Padres prospects in action—Luis Urias, Fernando Tatis—but instead we get Javy Guerra, who had a wRC+ of 61 last year. Maybe they’ll appear at some point this spring. On the Mariners’ end, here are their reserves: Backups for today’s Cactus League opener that is NOT on tv.— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) February 23, 2018 That’s the kind of stuff that sticks with you. Anyway, Cook missed all of 2016 with a severe lat injury, and then missed all of 2017 with TJ. The 30-year-old righty reliever was an All-Star for the A’s back in 2012, when he posted a 2.89 FIP, and followed that up with an equally strong campaign in 2013, but a forearm strain sapped his effectiveness in 2014 and Cook saw his velocity dip sharply, almost two ticks down by 2015. At his peak, Cook was throwing 96 with a wipeout slider that resulted in a K% of almost 28% and a swinging strike percentage of 11.7%. It will be interesting to see if a fully-healthy Cook can regain some of his previous glory. I’ll definitely be rooting for him. -KP The “Oh Yeah, He’s Here!” Guy - Ryan Garton Garton came over from the Rays along with Mike Marjama back in August, and at first glance, he seemed like nothing more than a throw-in. After struggling with Tampa and tossing twelve unremarkable innings for Tacoma, he joined the big club in September, where he pitched unexpectedly well, walking a single batter (hint: his name rhymes with Bike Snout) and giving up just two runs over 11.2 innings of work in a middle relief role. Garton also showed some flexibility in Seattle, going more than one inning in three out of thirteen outings. His raw stuff isn’t overwhelming with a fastball that sits at around 92-93 MPH, but he has thrown at least sixty innings in every full season of his professional career, and has a long track record of limiting the long ball in the minors. While Garton was outrighted off of the 40-man roster back in October, and has been held out of early work this spring while recovering from offseason hip labrum surgery, he should prove to be decent and durable depth this season when fully healthy. -CD The IwaCOMEBACK - Hisashi Iwakuma Ohhhh, heavenly Ligament Lords; ohhhh, Masters of Musculature; bless this man, and his thirty-seven-year-old body that would be youthful were he just an average bear. But alas, he is an exceptional bear; steady as a rock for years, then suddenly smote by the injury fates and the league’s newfound bloodlust for dingers. May his recovery and rehab be swift yet complete (he had arthroscopic surgery in his shoulder back in September and is projected to begin throwing in March, and ideally game-ready in May/June), may his velocity return (it dipped down across the board last season, after remaining about as consistent as you could want a player’s velocity to be—a greater indicator of injury than simply becoming “bad”), and may he repair his relationship with the strike zone. In exchange, we promise to never again curse the time he takes betwixt his pitches. Thank you, almighty soft-tossing deities; in Jamie Moyer’s name we K, amen. -IM The Loose Cannon - Johendi Jiminian The winner of the annual “Most Likely to Just Be Called “Yo” By Scott Servais” award goes to Johendi, succeeding last year’s winner Yovani Gallardo. The 25 year-old Jiminian works a fastball with plus velocity that pushes into the upper nineties. That fastball should play better than it does, but despite mix[...]