Pineda, Beavan to start only intra-squad game

Pineda, Beavan to start only intra-squad game

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Promising rookie prospects Michael Pineda and Blake Beavan will be the starting pitchers Friday when the Mariners conduct their lone intra-squad game of Spring Training.

Pineda, 22, has been getting plenty of publicity as a legitimate contender for a rotation spot, with the massive right-hander opening eyes with a fastball in the upper-90s and a quality slider as well.

Beavan, also 22, is another big youngster at 6-foot-7, 240 pounds. Acquired in the Cliff Lee deal last July, he finished last year at Tacoma. And while he's likely ticketed for a return to Triple-A, the Mariners are taking a good look this spring and have liked what they've seen thus far.

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Both Pineda and Beavan threw strong bullpen sessions on Wednesday in preparation for their one-inning starts. The intra-squad game is scheduled for five innings on Field One at the team's practice complex, with 10 different pitchers to throw an inning apiece.

Team One's rotation will be Pineda, Dan Cortes, Fabio Castro, Chaz Roe and Jose Flores. Team Two's pitchers will be Beavan, Josh Lueke, Edward Paredes, Yoervis Medina and Tom Wilhelmsen.

Manager Eric Wedge said he'd try to get all the position players a couple innings of work.

While Wedge said there's no big significance to the pitchers chosen, obviously the club is intrigued by Pineda and is eager to see Beavan right out of the box as well.

"You love his size and I really like the way his arm works," Wedge said of Beavan, a first-round Draft pick by the Rangers in 2007. "It's fun to watch a young person like that continue to learn and get better. I liked watching both he and Michael throw their bullpen today, just working. They're doing what they're supposed to be doing right now."

The Mariners will host a FanFest on Saturday from 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. MT at Peoria Stadium, with about half the team conducting a workout and signing autographs.

Things then turn up another notch Sunday with the annual charity game against the Padres kicking off the Spring Training schedule at 1:05 p.m. MT (12:05 p.m. PT).

Wedge said the pitching rotation for Spring Training games will be forthcoming in the next day or two.