Hey, everyone! Hope you had a good weekend. Apparently, there was some entertaining basketball the past few days. I figured I would try and get everyone thinking about baseball again.
The Generals were nice enough to send me out to Spring Training a couple weeks ago, which was an awesome experience. I can’t say enough about how nice and welcoming the Mariners have been with me. The broadcast crew of Dave Sims, Mike Blowers, Aaron Goldsmith and Rick Rizzs were kind enough to let me hang around. I even got to hop on the broadcast with Aaron for an inning to talk about some of the Generals that were playing.
“Change is good” is a saying that often gets thrown around, but I really think it applies within the organization this year. The big storyline in Seattle is the new-look front office and coaching staff, and they appear to have infused everyone with confidence. There’s a newfound sense of hope that I felt while I was down there, and it’s evidenced by some of the guys I talked to in interviews below.
There’s a lot to look forward to this year, and I’m excited to get the season started.
While five members of last year’s Jackson squad started Spring Training as part of Major League camp, Tony Zych is the only one that remains. Tyler Smith, Dario Pizzano and Paul Fry were all reassigned to Minor League Camp, while Danny Hultzen is unfortunately dealing with more injury concerns (Something that will take another post to cover).
Despite that, a number of guys from last year’s team still make regular appearances with the big league squad. Some of that is even on video!
It’s great to see Pizzano getting regular reps with Seattle after missing the Second Half of last season with an injury. He was among the Southern League’s best hitters when he was sidelined just prior to the All-Star Game in Montgomery.
I got a chance to catch up with Dario to talk about his rehab and what being with the Major League team is like.
I also had the chance to talk with Tyler Smith and Daren Brown, who will manage the team this year. Smith brings an interesting perspective to the new regime in Seattle, as he actually played for new farm director Andy McKay in the summer of 2011 with the La Crosse Loggers of the Northwoods League.
Brown brings a wealth of experience to Jackson. He has seven years of experience managing Triple-A Tacoma, and he even skippered the Mariners briefly after Don Wakamatsu was let go in 2010. I’m excited to have him in the dugout this year.
I hope to provide you all with more good #content as the season approaches. Less than three weeks away from Opening Night!