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Weather could put chill on Cactus League prep

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Weather in the Phoenix area has been perfect through the first week of Mariners camp, with blue skies and temperatures in the 70s, but the forecast for Wednesday is far more foreboding.

With 70 percent chance of rain and the temperature expected to be in the mid-40s when the team is scheduled to take the field at 9:30 a.m., manager Eric Wedge and his staff have been readying a backup plan.

The first Cactus League game is slated for Friday, and this year's tight early schedule doesn't leave much wiggle room for teams trying to get ready that quickly.

Pitchers have each thrown just one live batting practice after Tuesday's round of work, and hitters are just beginning to get their timing down against the live pitching, having just started full-squad workouts Saturday.

Pitchers are scheduled to throw once more -- half the group on Wednesday, the other half Thursday -- before the games begin. So a missed session now would wreak considerable havoc on the planning.

"We've been talking about it all day and we'll talk about it more here when everybody gets out of here," Wedge said after Tuesday's workout. "The priority has to be live BP. The guys that are supposed to throw tomorrow still need to throw.

"If we can't have hitters hit against them and we throw in the cage, we can still have people stand in. I'm not crazy about that. We'll get it done one way or the other, but it doesn't sound good for tomorrow."

As for the hitters' short preparation time for Friday's opener against the Padres, given they're only four days into their work?

"It is tough, but the guys knew that coming in and they've done a nice job here early on," Wedge said. "Friday is going to get on us quick and everybody is aware of that."

The Mariners' attitude? Bring it on.

"We are getting right into it," said Kyle Seager. "But that's a good thing. You get in there and start playing and it gives you more at-bats coming into the season. It's more time to get ready. There's nothing better than live pitching."

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