Mariners Minor Leaguers gather for Spring Training introductions
Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik addresses the minor leaguers
’09 AquaSox infielder Hawkins Gebbers works on his speed
Former AquaSox player & owner Jay Buhner talks with Dan Wilson
after speaking with the Mariners minor leaguers
’09 AquaSox manager John Tamargo hits to his infielders
Tamargo will manage for the Clinton Lumberkings in 2010.
J.J. has played in several games with the Mariners during spring training,
including pinch-running for Ken Griffey Jr.
While Mariners Spring Training has been going for a few weeks now (more than that if you count pitchers & catchers, plus mini-camp), many minor league prospects did not report until last week. All minor leaguers were required to report by Friday for physicals, and Saturday morning saw most of them at the complex in Peoria by 7:00am, ready to get started.
First thing was the minor league meeting. All of the players met on the practice field to go over the rules & regulations – welcomes came from all of the managers, who introduced their coaching staff, as well as the strength and training directors, members of the baseball operations staff and Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik. For some of these guys it was their first spring training, and you could tell they were a little overwhelmed with everything, but everyone seemed anxious to get out on the field.
At the Peoria complex there are six practice fields – two for the major league squad and four for the different minor league teams. Whether they end up playing where they practice depends on the space, the position they play, how they do at spring training etc. They also split up by position for certain sessions – former Mariner Jay Buhner was at the complex working with the outfielders, and former Mariner Dan Wilson was also around.
Most of the players don’t have cars in Peoria, so they spend their off time within walking distance of the complex. They stay at a nearby hotel, and there are tons of restaurants & shops surrounding the complex.
One of our main focuses in Peoria was catching up with guys who played for Everett last year, or even before that, and get footage to use for AquaVision next season. All of the guys were great, even those who had only spent a few games in Everett like Nick Franklin. James Jones, Brandon Bantz, Chris Kirkland and more all came by to help out. Some major leaguers like Ryan Rowland-Smith and Mariners Manager Don Wakamatsu also came by to say Hi to all the Everett fans.
Look for photos in the next few days of minor league spring training, and look for special guests on the video board all season long!
The Everett AquaSox (also known as the Frogs) are the short-season affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. Our season runs from the middle of June until the beginning of September, and gives many new members of the Mariners their first taste of professional baseball. Notable former Frogs include Felix Hernandez, Jose Lopez & Ryan Rowland-Smith. AquaSox games are fun for the whole family, and are a favorite meeting spot for fans from Bellingham down through Seattle.
Throughout the year, this blog will include posts from members of the front office, coaches & players, as well as contests, announcements and more. Check back regularly to see what’s new at 3802 Broadway in Everett!