Smyly scratched from final spring start

Smyly scratched from final spring start

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Southpaw Drew Smyly, who is expected to open the season as Seattle's No. 4 starter, has been scratched from his final Cactus League start on Friday, and his status now is in question for the opening series in Houston.

Mariners manager Scott Servais said Smyly "didn't feel great" coming out of his bullpen session Tuesday, and the lefty was having what he described as a "soggy" arm as camp comes to a close.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Could Mariners break awards dry spell?

Cano, Cruz, Felix, Haniger could be in contention

Could Mariners break awards dry spell?

PEORIA, Ariz. -- It's been 16 years since the Mariners earned a postseason berth and, not coincidentally, only one player has garnered one of the biggest Major League postseason awards during that span.

Other than Felix Hernandez's Cy Young Award in 2010, Seattle hasn't taken home any major hardware since the 116-win season in 2001 when Ichiro Suzuki won both the American League MVP Award and Rookie of the Year Award and Lou Piniella was named the AL Manager of the Year.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bullpen session goes well for Cishek

Reliever working his way back from hip surgery

Bullpen session goes well for Cishek

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Steve Cishek's initial hope of being recovered from hip surgery in time to start the regular season with the Mariners has long since given way to a slower reality, but the veteran right-hander took comfort in his steady progression after throwing another strong bullpen session on Wednesday.

Cishek fired 30 pitches in his third mound session in the past week, this time mixing in some sliders as he continues expanding his rehab program toward what now looks like a possible return in late April or May.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: What's different about 2017 Mariners?

Beat reporter Greg Johns answers fans' questions

Inbox: What's different about 2017 Mariners?

With Opening Day approaching fast, now is the perfect time to answer some fan questions in another edition of the Mariners Inbox.

How is this year's speed experiment different from the Chone Figgins experiment from a few years ago?
-- David F., Knoxville, Tenn.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zunino hits fourth homer, King Felix sharp

Zunino hits fourth homer, King Felix sharp

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Felix Hernandez looked sharp in a final two-inning tuneup before his Opening Day start for the Mariners, but the D-backs launched six home runs to support their own ace, Zack Greinke, in a 15-6 victory Tuesday at Peoria Stadium.

Brandon Drury lined a home run to left with two out in the first, but that was the only hit allowed by Hernandez in his short stint. The 30-year-old right-hander struck out four with no walks in a 24-pitch outing and now is set for Seattle's opener on Monday in Houston.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Haniger among top prospect performers

Haniger among top prospect performers

Mets' No. 5 prospect Robert Gsellman, who is likely to earn a spot in the Mets' rotation, put together another strong start as he continues to impress in Spring Training. Matt Adams tagged Gsellman for a three-run homer, but otherwise the right-hander was lights out.

The 23-year-old struck out six and gave up three runs on five hits in six innings, putting his Spring Training ERA at 2.31 through 23 1/3 innings.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners shelve Simmons with forearm strain

Righty shut down from throwing with soreness persisting after March 11 setback

Mariners shelve Simmons with forearm strain

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Shae Simmons can't ignore the obvious. He's had a series of arm problems in his young pitching career. And when the arm isn't working, well, neither is Simmons.

So the 26-year-old right-hander, who had hoped to be a big part of the Mariners' bullpen this season after being acquired from the Braves, instead will be shut down from all throwing for at least a few more days as the rest of his team prepares to open the season in Houston on Monday.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fans will get 15 Seconds of Fame at ballpark

New technology enables downloads of video clips from live telecasts

Fans will get 15 Seconds of Fame at ballpark

Brett and Chad Joshpe can still see the baseball coming down from the heavens one sublime day at Shea Stadium, closer and closer toward the brothers' seats down the right-field line.

If only they had a way back then to preserve their precious moment, like Major League Baseball fans of all 30 clubs are about to enjoy starting Opening Day for the first time in broadcast history. Imagine watching that play again and again, sharing the video clip on the other person's social media page and laughing together about the result.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com and a baseball writer since 1990. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rehabbing Cishek, Zych on pace for April return

Rehabbing Cishek, Zych on pace for April return

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Mariners continue to receive positive reports on rehabbing relievers Steve Cishek and Tony Zych, two right-handers who could help reinforce the Mariners' bullpen sometime during the first month of the season.

Cishek and Zych look like they will return in the next month or so if all things continue going well. Zych threw his first Cactus League inning since October biceps replacement surgery on Sunday and, though rusty, emerged healthy and ready to proceed.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gallardo roughed up, Seager collects 2 hits

Gallardo roughed up, Seager collects 2 hits

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres treated fans on the right-center-field berm to a quartet of souvenirs during Monday's 12-2 victory over the Mariners. Wil Myers and Ryan Schimpf went deep in the first, before Jabari Blash and Luis Sardinas tacked on a pair of two-run shots later on.

Myers, who is hitting .385 this spring, is clearly ready to start the regular season. So is Blash, whose seven dingers are tied for the Cactus League lead. Schimpf, meanwhile, is getting there after missing time with left oblique tightness earlier this month. He is competing for the Padres' starting third-base job, going 4-for-10 with three walks over his past four games.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners set tentative opening-week rotation

Servais has plan for four-game set in Houston: Cruz; Cano return

Mariners set tentative opening-week rotation

PEORIA, Ariz. -- It's not set in stone, but manager Scott Servais indicated Tuesday the Mariners will open the season next week with James Paxton pitching in the third game in Houston, followed by fellow lefty Drew Smyly the following day in the series finale.

That would set up the Mariners' rotation in order as Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, Paxton and Smyly against the Astros, with Yovani Gallardo opening a three-game series in Anaheim on Friday.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Deadline deals could boost Mariners' odds

Positioning for postseason key as Dipoto looks ahead

Deadline deals could boost Mariners' odds

PEORIA, Ariz. -- What course of action might the Mariners take when they hit the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline?

The answer depends entirely on how things play out over the next four months. But it's fair to say this Mariners squad is built to win now, and if general manager Jerry Dipoto believes his club is contending in July, he won't shy away from making moves to bolster those chances.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Smyly rusty, Motter hits HR in win over Reds

Smyly rusty, Motter hits HR in win over Reds

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Scoring twice in the top of the eighth inning, the Mariners emerged with a 7-6 victory over the Reds on Sunday at Goodyear Ballpark.

It was a 5-5 game in the eighth when Reds Minor League camp pitcher Lucas Benenati began the inning by allowing back-to-back hits that led to Carlos Ruiz's sacrifice fly for the go-ahead run. Ian Miller chipped in a RBI single to add a second run.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners pondering an eight-man bullpen

Mariners pondering an eight-man bullpen

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Manager Scott Servais says the Mariners are looking at the strong possibility of opening the season with an extra arm in the bullpen. So the question now is what eight relievers would make up that crew?

You can pencil in closer Edwin Diaz, right-handers Dan Altavilla, Nick Vincent and Evan Scribner and lefty specialist Marc Rzepczynski. Free-agent signee Casey Fien appears a solid bet to grab one of the right-handed spots as well.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zych's return to mound anything but mundane

Zych's return to mound anything but mundane

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Competing in his first Cactus League game after undergoing biceps replacement surgery in October, Tony Zych admitted his mind was swimming a bit on his first few pitches as he took the mound to replace starter Drew Smyly with a runner on first and no out in the fifth in Sunday's 7-6 win over the Reds.

And then, wham! A hard line drive up the middle by Reds right fielder Scott Schebler smacked straight off his ankle, deflecting all the way beyond the third base line against Seattle's shifted infield.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Starter Heston optioned to Triple-A Tacoma

Mariners reassign 3 NRIs to Minor League camp

Starter Heston optioned to Triple-A Tacoma

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Mariners took another step toward narrowing down their pitching staff on Sunday, optioning starter Chris Heston to Triple-A Tacoma and also reassigning veteran non-roster invitees Cody Martin, Nick Hagadone and Jean Machi to Minor League camp.

The moves leave Seattle with 37 players in Major League camp, heading toward the final 25-man roster needed for Opening Day on April 3 in Houston.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Overton fires six, Motter homers in Seattle win

Overton fires six, Motter homers in Seattle win

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Dillon Overton, a southpaw acquired from the A's in January, threw six innings of one-run ball in his second Cactus League start as Seattle topped the Rangers, 3-1.

Rangers left fielder Ryan Rua ripped a first-inning home run off an Overton changeup, but the 25-year-old gave up just four hits with no walks and three strikeouts in a 71-pitch outing.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miranda, Valle assigned to Minors camp

Instead of heading to bullpen, lefty Miranda will start at Triple-A

Miranda, Valle assigned to Minors camp

PEORIA, Ariz. -- In the second surprise of Mariners camp, left-hander Ariel Miranda was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma on Saturday as the club intends to keep him stretched out as a starting option rather than open the season as a second lefty in the bullpen.

Catcher Sebastian Valle was also reassigned to Minor League camp, leaving the Mariners with 41 players in Major League camp as they approach next week's final cutdown to 25 prior to Opening Day on April 3.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Paxton gets Minors start, feels ready for season

Lefty worked on a back field; Motter, Overton bidding for roster spots

Paxton gets Minors start, feels ready for season

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Though he was still dealing with the aftereffects of the nasty head cold virus going around the Mariners' clubhouse, left-hander James Paxton got in 5 1/3 innings of work in a Minor League start Saturday and said he feels ready for the regular season.

Paxton will get one more abbreviated start next week, but threw a spring-high 82 pitches against a High-A Rangers farm club while allowing 10 hits and three runs with one walk and seven strikeouts.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners giving Dyson's legs a rest

Mariners giving Dyson's legs a rest

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Jarrod Dyson relies on his wheels as one of Major League Baseball's premier speedsters, so the Mariners are giving him time to rest up before beginning the final push for the regular season next week.

Dyson has played just once in the past six days as manager Scott Servais said the 32-year-old is recovering from some soreness in his legs.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Diaz to lose hairstyle, keep Classic emotion

Diaz to lose hairstyle, keep Classic emotion

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Edwin Diaz returned from the World Baseball Classic on Friday sporting the blond-topped head made famous by his Puerto Rican team as it advanced to the championship game of the 16-team tournament.

The Mariners closer says he'll lose the hairstyle, reverting back to black, but he won't part with the emotion he displayed on the mound in key moments.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Seager, Iwakuma lead Mariners past Royals

Seager, Iwakuma lead Mariners past Royals

PEORIA -- Kyle Seager continued warming up with his first Cactus League home run and Hisashi Iwakuma pitched 5 2/3 strong innings on Friday afternoon as a Mariners split squad topped the Royals, 4-3, at Peoria Stadium.

Paulo Orlando led off the fifth with a solo homer off Iwakuma. Orlando went 2-for-3 and Jorge Soler added a two-run home run with two outs in the ninth. Alex Gordon added a pair of base hits for the Royals.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners' split squad held hitless by Angels

Mariners' split squad held hitless by Angels

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Eight Angels pitchers combined to no-hit a Mariners split squad on Friday night, leading the Halos to a 4-0 win in the lone night game of the spring at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

With only two regular position players, Leonys Martin and Jean Segura, in their lineup, the Mariners mustered only two baserunners; Segura reached on catcher's interference in the fourth and Zach Shank walked in the sixth.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gamel may get closer look for roster spot

Gamel may get closer look for roster spot

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The assumption all spring has been that the Mariners needed a right-handed-hitting backup outfielder to complement lefty-swinging Jarrod Dyson in left field, meaning Guillermo Heredia had the inside track over southpaw Ben Gamel in the chase for the extra spot.

But that may not be the case anymore, with Dyson holding his own against lefties and manager Scott Servais leaning toward giving him a shot at being close to an everyday starter. And with right-hand hitting Taylor Motter grabbing the utility role -- and having the ability to spell Dyson when needed -- the Mariners could give Gamel a closer look as the final bench player, or even go with one less outfielder and carry an extra reliever.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Felix dominates Giants in Cactus League return

Felix dominates Giants in Cactus League return

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Mariners blanked the Giants for six innings Thursday, riding a masterful pitching performance behind their ace, Felix Hernandez. The Giants could muster only one hit through the first six innings as Seattle went on to a 9-2 triumph.

Hernandez was in rare form in his first start since pitching a pair of games for Team Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic. The Mariners' Opening Day starter was perfect through 3 2/3 innings before Jarrett Parker hit a grounder to third that went into left field for a double. The Mariners infield was shifted far to the right side of the diamond, leave a gaping hole at third. No other Giant reached base in Hernandez's six innings on the hill.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Giants on Thursday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners option No. 10 prospect Vogelbach to Triple-A

Valencia will start at first base to open season

Mariners option No. 10 prospect Vogelbach to Triple-A

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Rookie Daniel Vogelbach, who was expected to open the season as Seattle's starting first baseman, instead was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday.

The move means veteran Danny Valencia will be Seattle's starter at first base and utility man Taylor Motter can fill in as his backup when needed.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Motter near lock for Mariners' utility role

O'Malley out 10-14 days following appendectomy; Vogelbach sent down

Motter near lock for Mariners' utility role

PEORIA, Ariz. -- One of the few roster battles in Mariners camp appears all but finalized now as Taylor Motter will open the season as the club's utility player with Shawn O'Malley expected to miss about 10 to 14 days following his appendectomy surgery Tuesday.

That situation, in conjunction with the Mariners' decision to option rookie first baseman Daniel Vogelbach to Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday, puts Motter in the driver's seat for a role that now includes backing up first base behind Danny Valencia as a key component.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.