{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Mariners focus on timing in first live BP

|
Mariners focus on timing in first live BP play video for Mariners focus on timing in first live BP

PEORIA, Ariz. -- After more than a week of having pitchers throw bullpen sessions without hitters in the box, the Mariners on Thursday began live batting practice, to predictable results.

With hitters just getting their timing down, the first few days of live BP usually result in few swings at the plate and more of a focus on tracking pitches. But some of the Mariners, particularly the younger players, took their hacks as 13 pitchers got their first live mound work.

"It's more for the pitchers," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "I tell the guys, look, sometimes tracking is just as good as swinging. Obviously when you're seeing live pitching for the first time, it can be a little tough.

"I think you see veteran guys do more tracking. The younger kids are more gung-ho, and they go after it a little more. But it's tough. There's no adrenaline. They deal with it the best they can, do some tracking, get the feet down, make sure the hands are in good position."

But some hitters did jump right in and start swinging, while others like outfielder Michael Saunders unleashed a couple of selective cuts.

"I took a few swings today," Saunders said. "That's the only way for me to know where my timing's at. I get a feel for where the pitcher is, and if he's around the zone, then I'm more comfortable taking a few hacks and seeing where I'm at. I have to start somewhere and I can adjust from there."

Several returning pitchers -- Tom Wilhelmsen, Erasmo Ramirez, Blake Beavan and Lucas Luetge -- were among Thursday's group, which also included several non-roster invitees. The rest of the staff, except for Felix Hernandez and Taijuan Walker, will throw Friday.

Hernandez and Walker are on a slightly slower schedule, and both on Thursday threw their second bullpen sessions of the spring.

"They both felt great," McClendon said.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español