So Taylor promptly came out Friday and torched a triple and a home run in his two at-bats during Seattle's 7-4 Cactus League loss to the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- He's not the most-imposing pitcher in Mariners camp, generously listed at 6-feet and 190 pounds. And as a 30th-round Draft pick out of Stanford in 2011, the odds were stacked against Jordan Pries from the start.
But give Pries a baseball and a mound, and he'll find a way to compete. Which is exactly what the young right-hander plans to do Saturday, when he steps on the hill at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz., for his first Cactus League start in a Mariners split-squad game against the White Sox at 12:05 p.m. PT.
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Willie Bloomquist has played more than a thousand regular-season games in his 13-year Major League career, but that didn't stop Friday's Cactus League contest from being a little special for the Mariners veteran utility man.
After undergoing microfracture surgery on his right knee last August, Bloomquist knew there were questions about how soon he could be back and whether he'd be ready to compete for a job again this spring. But the 37-year-old came out firing in his spring debut, going 2-for-2 and sprinting from first to home on a third-inning triple by Chris Taylor.
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Dodgers benefited from some shoddy Seattle defense Friday afternoon, as they rode five unearned runs to a 7-4 victory over the Mariners.
Chris Taylor led the way for Seattle with a homer, a triple and three RBIs -- an impressive display for a player competing for the starting shortstop job. His efforts weren't enough, though, as the Dodgers rallied late, led mostly by their Minor Leaguers.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Felix Hernandez will make his Cactus League debut on Wednesday when the Mariners host the Rockies in a 1:05 p.m. PT game on MLB.TV at Peoria Stadium, manager Lloyd McClendon announced Friday.
Per his usual Spring Training routine, Hernandez will be the last of Seattle's healthy pitchers to make his debut. The Mariners' ace takes a slightly slower approach than most in spring due to the heavy workload he accumulates during the regular season. The 28-year-old is the only active pitcher in the Majors to have totaled 200-plus innings and 200-plus strikeouts in each of the past six seasons.
Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Nelson Cruz is new to the Mariners, but the club is learning quickly about the big slugger. Turns out its new designated hitter takes requests, at least from teammate Felix Hernandez.
"Felix asked me for a homer," Cruz said after launching a two-run blast in Thursday's 9-4 victory over the Padres, his first game with the Mariners. "I was like, 'Normally I don't hit homers in the spring, but I will try today.'"
PEORIA, Ariz. -- There's nothing easy about losing 45 pounds over five months of intense training or dealing with doubters who think your career is over before it really got started. But Jesus Montero could just now be hitting the hardest part of his recommitment to baseball, knowing he has to keep that dedication over the long haul while waiting for a chance on a team that has no obvious opening on its Major League roster.
Montero was one of the interesting stories when Mariners camp opened two weeks ago, drawing attention for his dramatic new look and improved approach. But the fact remains there's more work to be done in order to become a viable first-base candidate and contender for a 25-man roster spot.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- New designated hitter Nelson Cruz homered in his first game for the Mariners and Robinson Cano got off to a hot start as well as Seattle defeated the Padres 9-4 on Thursday in a matchup for the second straight day at Peoria Stadium.
Alexi Amarista, who is pegged to be San Diego's starting shortstop, had three hits. His third hit preceded teammate Will Venable's two-run home run in the fifth inning. For Venable it was career home run No. 16 in Cactus League play.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- The on-again, off-again saga of Edgar Olmos with the Mariners continued Thursday as the left-handed pitcher was returned to Seattle's 40-man roster after Major League Baseball voided a Rangers waiver claim on him following a dispute over the health of his shoulder.
The Rangers claimed Olmos off waivers on Feb. 24, but then asked to have that reversed based on their belief that he has an impingement in his throwing shoulder.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mariners first-base prospect Ji-Man Choi will undergo surgery on Thursday to repair a broken right leg after injuring himself leaping for a high throw in Wednesday's Cactus League opener against the Padres.
Choi will likely be sidelined four to six months, according to manager Lloyd McClendon, after fracturing his fibula, which is the long thin bone in the lower leg.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mariners first-base prospect Ji-Man Choi broke the fibula bone in his right leg on Wednesday after landing awkwardly trying to haul in an errant throw in the ninth inning of Seattle's 4-3 victory over the Padres in the Cactus League opener.
Choi, a 23-year-old from South Korea, was carted off the field after going down in a heap at the first-base bag following his leaping attempt to pull in a high toss from shortstop Tyler Smith.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Right-hander Taijuan Walker looked strong in his spring debut with two scoreless innings for the Mariners, while Justin Upton opened his Padres career with a home run in Wednesday's Cactus League opener at a renovated Peoria Stadium.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- As the Mariners' first-round pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, there are a lot of eyes on D.J. Peterson as he goes through his first Major League camp this spring.
And the young third-base prospect didn't disappoint when he launched a home run on his initial at-bat in the first inning of Seattle's 4-3 win in 10 innings over the Padres on Wednesday in the Cactus League opener.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon's message to Taijuan Walker was brief. "We don't expect him to pitch like he's 21 or 22," McClendon said.
Walker, who turned 22 in August, heard the manager loud and clear.
Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Felix Hernandez remains the face of the Mariners, as evidenced by a large camera crew from Major League Baseball that followed his every move on Wednesday shooting video for an upcoming 30-second promotional spot.
But Seattle's ace isn't all on his own any more as the club has beefed up its roster with some noticeable veteran presence.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Racking up hits has always been important to Kyle Seager, but that role will help another goal this season as the Mariners All-Star third baseman has hooked up with former North Carolina teammate Chase Jones on a charity to help fight children's cancer.
Jones was diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer when he was a freshman in college. Now seven years later, Jones is pushing to help others with his Vs. Cancer Foundation -- and he landed a key contributor in Seager.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Danny Hultzen took another step on the long road back from shoulder surgery Tuesday as the Mariners' 2011 first-round Draft pick threw his first live batting practice of the spring and pronounced everything good.
The Mariners are looking at this season as a build-up year for Hultzen, focused on getting him ready to compete for a Major League role in 2016 after missing nearly two full seasons with significant shoulder issues. But the 25-year-old appears strong and healthy as he progresses through the early spring work.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- After slow starts the past two seasons by Dustin Ackley, Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon plans to give the left fielder extra at-bats this spring with the hope he can hit the ground running when the season opens in April.
And while many veterans like to pace themselves early and gradually build for the long haul, the 27-year-old Ackley says he's fine with whatever work comes his way as he prepares for his fifth season in the Majors.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Rainy weather played a little havoc with the Mariners' plans for Monday, wiping out their only scheduled intrasquad game and putting a slight hiccup in some of the pitching plans. Manager Lloyd McClendon said he wasn't concerned about Mother Nature's interference.
Left-hander James Paxton had to limit his throwing distance on his first day back from a bruised forearm that sidelined him the first 10 days of camp and Hisashi Iwakuma was limited to another bullpen session instead of his first live batting practice of the spring.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Lloyd McClendon has never liked the word "platoon," but the Mariners' skipper acknowledged Monday that he'll likely be using that sort of split-time situation in both left and right field this season if things go as planned.
McClendon said his left-field situation will likely see Rickie Weeks starting against left-handed pitchers and Dustin Ackley against right-handers. Similarly, the right-field at-bats figure to fall primarily to right-handed-hitting Justin Ruggiano or Nelson Cruz against left-handed starters, and Seth Smith against righties.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Clearly, the Mariners have wanted to see David Rollins in a Seattle uniform for a long time. They drafted him twice, after all, in 2009 and '10, before he elected to return to school both times.
This past December at the Rule 5 Draft, Seattle got their man. The 25-year-old Rollins is now in camp in Peoria, competing for a job as the second lefty in the bullpen -- the spot once held by the departed Joe Beimel.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- In Lloyd McClendon's eyes, Austin Jackson represents the spark the Mariners' offense needs this year. And to make sure his catalyst performs at a high level throughout the season, the Seattle skipper plans to give Jackson a few extra days off this summer.
McClendon told reporters he expects Jackson's total number of games played to decrease this year -- an effort to keep the 28-year-old center fielder fresh. Last season, Jackson hit .191 in September -- with a significant decline in his slugging percentage during the second half of the season.
While we salivate at the release of the Top 100 prospect list, the fact is that very few players become superstars. Most slip into careers as relievers, journeymen and Quad-A sluggers.
But a few still manage to surprise you when most have stopped paying attention. After struggling to a .244/.328/.405 mark through 2010, Alex Gordon has become one of the most valuable players in the Majors, with the third baseman-turned-outfielder posting the third-highest Wins Above Replacement among American League position players in 2014.
Michael Clair is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @clairbearattack. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Even while some of the younger Mariners prospects are enjoying the experience of their first Major League camp this spring, they can't help but stop at times and ponder the gravity of the situation facing teammate Victor Sanchez.
The 20-year-old right-hander remains in a coma in a hospital in Caracas, Venezuela, two weeks after being hit in the head by a water craft while swimming off the shore of the eastern coastal city of Carupano in his home country.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- While much of the early focus of Mariners camp has centered around the arrival of new cleanup hitter Nelson Cruz and late addition of veteran Rickie Weeks, Seth Smith has quietly gone about his business of getting ready for his ninth Major League season in relative anonymity.
But Smith, 32, figures as one of Seattle's significant offensive upgrades as a potential No. 2 hitter in the lineup and a proven and productive left-handed bat.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- With some wet weather rolling into the Phoenix area on Saturday, the Mariners cut their planned workout short by about an hour and focused mostly on infield work and conditioning.
Though rain didn't fall in the 90 minutes while the Mariners were on the field, heavy precipitation in the early morning led to some wet fields and manager Lloyd McClendon chose to keep things safe.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Having a healthy Hisashi Iwakuma in camp from Day One figures to be a significant difference for the Mariners this spring, but that doesn't mean they're in a hurry to push the veteran before the calendar even reaches March.
While most of Seattle's hurlers are now firing live batting practice to hitters, Iwakuma instead threw his third bullpen session of the spring on Friday. But manager Lloyd McClendon said there are no health concerns with the right-hander who missed all of Spring Training and the first month of 2014 with a torn finger tendon.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- If you're looking for the happiest guy in Mariners camp this spring, the early leader in the clubhouse would be Marcus Littlewood. For the simple reason that, well, he's actually in the Mariners' clubhouse.
Littlewood was sitting home in Provo, Utah, two days before the Mariners big league camp was scheduled to open when his phone rang and his caller ID showed Chris Gwynn, Seattle's Minor League director.