The new-look Seattle Mariners were in action today in the Cactus League, as they took on the San Diego Padres in both team’s first Spring Training game. It would be the first time second baseman Robinson Cano would step onto the field in anything other than New York Yankees pinstripes.
Cano had a decent debut, going 1-for-1 with a walk and a run scored. The Mariners overall had a nice day, scoring seven runs on 10 hits. The Padres would struggle a bit, only getting one run late in the game in the eighth inning.
As you are well aware by now, Cano signed a massive contract this offseason with the Mariners and is looked to for not only his veteran leadership, but his ability to hit the long ball and drive in a lot of runs. Seattle was 12th in the American League last season in runs scored, and with the players they brought in, they are hoping to improve on that dramatically. Cano had 107 RBI last season, which would have put him in the team lead by 27.
It won’t just be up to Cano to turn the fortunes of this franchise around, he will have some help, as Corey Hart and Logan Morrison were also brought in in hopes of righting the ship.
There is no denying that the Mariners have made improvements, but is it enough to stay afloat in the American League West? There is no telling for sure until the games that count start. A healthy reliable pitching staff, beyond Felix Hernandez, is extremely important as well. The injury to Hisashi Iwakuma will set the team back a bit, but free agent starter Scott Baker should fill in nicely until his return. Seattle has plenty of young arms that will be trying to make an impact this season as well. The organization’s No. 1 prospect Taijuan Walker and No. 3 prospect James Paxton will be with the big club, trying to make their mark.
A few other notable Mariners’ prospects played in today’s game as well. Shortstop Chris Taylor (No. 9) and outfielders Abraham Almonte (No. 17) and James Jones (No. 27) all played collectively, going 0-for-5 with two walks and a run scored.