SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- In the better-safe-than sorry department, the Mariners have decided that Adam Moore will start behind the plate in Felix Hernandez's first Cactus League outing Sunday against the Rockies in Tucson. Rob Johnson was Hernandez's regular catcher most of last season and they worked splendidly together. But he also had three offseason surgeries and manager Don Wakamatsu said it is imperative for other catchers to work with Hernandez this spring, just in case. "We think Rob will be ready [for the regular season], but if he's not, we need to be prepared," he said. "This also gives Rob a chance to catch Cliff Lee [on Monday].
"Rob and Felix worked extremely well together last year and the plan is to keep that going as much as we can during the season. But you never know about injuries, and the more we can cross-catch different guys I think it will be beneficial." Johnson caught Hernandez's last simulated game. "He came out of it real well and ran again today," Wakamatsu said. Moore has been the busiest of the seven catchers in camp, becoming the first to start back-to-back games -- Wednesday at Surprise against the Rangers and Thursday in Scottsdale against the Giants. Wakamatsu said Moore was the player of the game in the Mariners' 6-2 victory over San Francisco before 10,762 at Scottsdale Stadium. "I really like what's going on behind the plate," Wakamatsu said. "He threw a runner out and made a couple of nice bunt plays. I like the way he's moving back there." Right-hander Ian Snell was superb in his second start, holding the Giants to one hit and no runs in three innings. "I am very pleased with the way I pitched today," he said. "I was real excited because I haven't pitched in a week and I get real giddy when I have been out for so long. I wanted to get out there."
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.