02/16/12 4:20 PM EST
Robinson seeing clearly with new specs
By Greg Johns / MLB.com
Robinson, 24, has worn contact lenses at times over the past two years, but opted for a new optical approach this winter and plans to wear his new glasses while he's playing.
"My vision isn't that bad, but you're always looking for an advantage," Robinson said Thursday before heading out to the field for an informal workout. "And I can see a difference. I wore contacts last year on and off, but I was always wondering when I changed the degree of my head, I'd be blind for like a half-second. I've got astigmatisms. That's when I checked in with an eye doctor in Seattle."
A lot of players opt for Lasik eye surgery to correct vision problems, but Robinson isn't sure he wants to go that route yet.
"I'm kind of scared of that," he said. "I've never had surgery in my life and to do it on my eyes? I don't know. I might go see a specialist later on. Not right now, because the glasses look cool, but I'll probably see somebody and see if I need it."
For now, he'll style with the Oakleys.
"I'm just trying to look for a little advantage, a little confidence," he said. "I just want to compete. And look good, too, right?"
He'll look better to the Mariners if he produces at the plate after a rough finish last season when he hit just .162 in the final month after a nice start following his arrival from the Dodgers in the Erik Bedard trade. Robinson isn't blaming anything on his vision, but figures it certainly won't hurt to have a sharper focus at the plate this spring.
"It's not a huge difference, but I notice it," Robinson said. "I feel comfortable. I can see a little difference. I can see the seams a little better. I always could see 'em, but I can see 'em better now.
"You can't hit what you can't see," he said. "It's like they said when we were little kids. ... See the ball, hit the ball. Make it simple."
Sherrill expects to begin throwing soon
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Veteran left-hander George Sherrill, who signed a one-year contract with the Mariners as a free agent over the offseason, said Thursday he expects to begin throwing in the next few days after being held back because of some early soreness in his arm.
Sherrill, 34, is the only one of the 35 pitchers in camp who hasn't thrown bullpen sessions in the first five days. He said his arm didn't feel quite right after he threw a few times off the mound before camp began.
"You get older and they want to take it easy on you," he said. "My arm feels pretty good. I just told them I'd thrown a couple bullpens when I first got here and how it felt. They know what I've been through the last couple years with overuse and that kind of stuff, so it's kind of a forced slowdown.
"It's just a matter of not trying to push too hard, too fast. Everything should be coming along fine now and any day I should be throwing some bullpens."
Sherrill said an MRI test showed no problems.
"Everything structurally is great," he said. "So that's always reassuring. I'm looking forward to getting things going."
Manager Eric Wedge said Sherrill likely will start throwing "once we get into the weekend or early next week," noting that is about the time all other Major League teams are just reporting.
Slimmer Felix working hard to be ready
PEORIA, Ariz. -- One of the primary reasons for the Mariners starting camp a week early is to get No. 1 starter Felix Hernandez prepared to pitch in the club's March 28 opener in Tokyo, which comes a week ahead of the rest of baseball's schedule.
Hernandez reported to camp in excellent shape, having lost about 10 pounds and looking noticeably thinner. And on Thursday, the 2010 Cy Young winner was the last member of his group of six still throwing in his bullpen session as he pushes to get himself ready.
"He's a hard worker," manager Eric Wedge said. "He has a program and knows what he needs to do to get ready. He knows that's one of the reasons we're here. He leads by example. I can't say enough about the young man.
"The way he goes about his business, it's serious to him, yet he still has fun out there. The leadership he shows is real. He is the leader of our staff and he's one of the leaders on this ballclub. That goes beyond the pitchers. That's something I couldn't have sat here and talked about last year because I didn't know. But having experienced him and watched him and seen him on and off the field, I can say that with all certainty."
As for the lost weight?
"He's in great shape," said Wedge. "Both he and [Jason] Vargas are in better shape. Really, to a man everybody has come in and done what they needed to do.
"I've been impressed. Pitchers are doing what they're supposed to be doing. Infielders are bouncing around. Catchers are working their way into it. It's been fun to watch so far."