2/23/2013 6:55 P.M. ET
Downhill delivery has Beavan trending upward
By Greg Johns / MLB.com
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Blake Beavan is working on an adjusted pitching delivery that has him throwing with more downward angle this spring and the initial results were positive as the young right-hander threw two scoreless innings in the Mariners' 8-6 victory over the Padres on Saturday.
Beavan, 24, allowed just an infield hit and a bloop single while throwing 33 pitches in two frames.
"I'm getting more angle than I've ever been able to get, which I think anybody would tell you is a lot harder to hit," said the 6-foot-7 Texan. "A hitter's swing is side-to-side, so if you get down angle, it's harder for them to square it up.
"That's all I concentrated on, just focusing on my mechanics and not trying to throw harder. All I tried to focus on was staying in my delivery and going to the mitt, and I did that today, so it was fun."
Beavan is competing for one of Seattle's final two rotation slots after going 11-11 with a 4.43 ERA in 26 starts last year.
"He did a nice job," said manager Eric Wedge. "He came out aggressive, was fluid with his delivery and had some pretty good stuff. He's a guy that works pretty hard to keep getting better, and I think that was obvious today.
"He's always done a nice job with his fastball, but his secondary stuff continues to improve. He's being more consistent with his delivery and he's such a big guy, for him to be able to leverage the ball downhill, that's only going to be that much more important for him as he continues to grow."
Goldsmith fulfilling dream on Seattle airwaves
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Aaron Goldsmith didn't even try to pretend it was just another game. Not for the new Mariners' radio man. Not after all the anticipation of his first Major League broadcast.
It might have been a meaningless Cactus League outing for most, but for the 29-year-old Goldsmith, this was the start of something he's been dreaming about for years.
"I was absolutely nervous," Goldsmith said after calling Friday's charity game against the Padres alongside new partner Rick Rizzs. "I was OK the night before, but I woke up in the morning with my stomach churning a little and I kept telling myself, 'It's a Spring Training game. Spring Training. We're going to have 80 players in this game, so just relax.'
"But when it came to me doing the lineups and it's just me, I'm bringing it back from break and I'm thinking, 'Don't screw these names up and don't go long because you'll miss the first pitch.' That's when the nerves really hit. Once that was done and I could say, 'And here with the play-by-play is Rick Rizzs,' that's when it was alright. It's like the football player taking his first hit."
Goldsmith called the third, sixth and seventh innings, which is the same routine he'll follow all year as the No. 2 announcer. He's spent the past week spending every possible moment with Rizzs taking in workouts, studying and talking about the Mariners and baseball and beginning the bond that will be needed for the long haul.
"Rick and I get along so well outside the booth," Goldsmith said. "It's fun to make each other smile and laugh, and it was great that Day 1 we were able to have some of that in the very first broadcast. It makes me so optimistic about what this season and relationship can be like. I haven't had that much fun in the booth in a long, long time."
Rizzs, starting his 28th season with the Mariners, hearkens back to his own first game in the Majors when Dave Niehaus reminded him to just have fun and be himself.
"I can still hear David standing behind me and telling me that 30 years ago," Rizzs said. "I just want to do the same thing for this young man. I thought he did an outstanding job. I know he had some nerves and was anxious. It was his first big league broadcast and Game 1 of Spring Training. But you could tell that he prepared like crazy for it.
"He's got the great voice. He has a passion for the game of baseball. He has a passion for broadcasting that shows. I thought he was outstanding."
Now, it's just a matter of developing the relationship that carries over to listeners over the course of 200 broadcasts a year.
"In baseball, you're with someone every day for seven months," Rizzs said. "So, you need to have that respect for one another, be part of each other's lives and that's what Dave and I had for a quarter of a century together, and that's what made our jobs so much easier. When that happens, it's a beautiful thing in this business and that's what I want to have happen for Aaron and I."
Maurer to make Cactus League debut on Monday
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Right-handed rookie Brandon Maurer, one of the Mariners' top young pitching prospects, will get his first shot at Cactus League play on Monday against the Angels after being held back slightly after getting drilled in the shin by a Kendrys Morales line drive in batting practice earlier this week.
Maurer, 22, was the Southern League Pitcher of the Year last season after going 9-2 with a 3.20 ERA for Double-A Jackson. He was held out of conditioning drills on Friday and Saturday, but said otherwise he's been doing all his normal throwing and threw a bullpen session as scheduled on Saturday.
As for meeting up with Morales' line drive back up the middle on one of the first batters he faced in live batting practice in his initial big league camp?
"That ball came back real quick," he said. "Morales is a big boy. But it's all good."
The 6-foot-5 Maurer, the Mariners' No. 10 prospect, said he took a shot off the same left shin last year while pitching for Jackson.
"Same thing, about an inch below," he said. "I have a nice little scar there. It was a big lefty, the same pitch, a two-seamer outside. He just got the bat out and, 'Whap.' It happens. It's part of the game."
Now that he's been introduced to Major League hitters, Maurer is ready to take the next step.
"I'm feeling good," he said. "I'm excited to get into a game and get that adrenaline going and face some hitters from a different team."
• Jeremy Bonderman, who hasn't pitched in the Majors since 2010, gets his first start of the spring on Monday when the Mariners face the Angels in Peoria. Jon Garland, another veteran on the comeback trail as a non-roster invitee, will throw a bullpen session on Monday prior to his first expected game action later in the week.
• Felix Hernandez threw his second 10-minute bullpen session of the spring on Saturday and next will throw live batting practice early next week. Joe Saunders and Hisashi Iwakuma also threw bullpens on Saturday and will make their Cactus League debuts in the next few days.