PEORIA, Ariz. -- After missing the first five days of Spring Training due to a visa issue getting out of the Dominican Republic, catcher Ronny Paulino finally took the field Monday with the Mariners.
It wasn't hard to spot the new arrival as he stands 6-foot-3, 250 pounds. But the eight-year Major League veteran was playing catchup in his first day back as coaches let him get adjusted and work his way in slowly.
"You never want to be late," Paulino said. "The timing was something that was out of my hands, something I couldn't really control."
Paulino said his visa petition was delayed because he signed with the Mariners late in the offseason. But a year ago, he missed nearly two weeks with the Orioles and still managed to make the Opening Day roster.
He said he's in good condition, having played winter ball through Jan. 20. His challenge will be getting to know the Mariners pitchers and a new situation, which he acknowledged had him swimming a bit Monday. Having previously played for the Pirates, Marlins, Mets and Orioles, this is the first time he hasn't headed to Florida for Spring Training.
"For me, it's been kind of easy the last couple years getting to know different pitching staffs. Hopefully this year will be the same," he said. "This is a whole different team and group of guys. And my first time in Arizona, I feel kind of lost a little bit. It's different. But the game doesn't change. Phoenix is different, but the game is the same."