02/25/2013 7:35 PM ET
Ryan, Ackley see results in returns from injury
By Greg Johns / MLB.com
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Brendan Ryan is known more for his glove, but the Mariners shortstop ripped a home run in his first at-bat this spring in Monday's 9-8 victory against the Angels. Ryan was joined by second baseman Dustin Ackley, who tripled in the fifth inning in his first Cactus League game, as both players returned from offseason surgeries.
Ryan hit into a double play on a checked-swing comebacker to the mound in his second at-bat before being replaced in the sixth inning.
"I saw both sides of the spectrum. About as good as it gets to as bad as it gets. Right back to Earth," Ryan said with a smile.
But the veteran shortstop has been pleased with his plate approach early this spring as he's working to simplify his swing and get back to being a better contact hitter after posting a .194 average last year.
"I'm just trying to get back to that gritty, stick-your-nose in there and grind out every at-bat, the [David] Eckstein-type approach," he said.
That would be fine with manager Eric Wedge, who isn't looking for home runs from his shortstop.
"I'd be happy with hard contact on a consistent basis from Brendan," Wedge said. "But it's good to see him get off to a good start. You just have to make sure he continues to work and understand what he needs to do to give himself the best chance up there over a period of time. His [batting practice] has been better, and it's nice to see him get some results here early."
It's the same story for Ackley, who is looking to bounce back from a .226 average last season at second base. Though his ankle is still a little tender as he returns from surgery to remove bone spurs, he drove a ball deep to the opposite field for his triple.
"That's Arizona," Ackley said after his deep drive carried farther than expected. "But it's nice to see the ball travel like that. I'll take it as a positive on Day 1. I squared it up pretty good. It was 3-1, and I was looking fastball and got one and put the barrel on it and good things happened."
Bonderman feels fine after first inning back
PEORIA, Ariz. -- It wasn't quite the return Jeremy Bonderman dreamed of, but the 30-year-old right-hander took his first step back from a long battle with arm problems Monday with an inning of work in the Mariners' 9-8 victory against the Angels.
Bonderman, pitching for the first time since 2010 with the Tigers, gave up a three-run blast to catcher Hank Conger, allowing two hits and three runs in the first inning.
"They knocked the rust off me," Bonderman said with a wry smile. "It wasn't what I wanted, but it was good to get out there and get my feet wet again. I look forward to the next opportunity."
Bonderman had Tommy John surgery last April after dealing with shoulder issues the past few seasons with Detroit. He threw 89-90 mph Monday and said he felt perfectly healthy for the first time in years.
"I'm 100 percent healthy," he said. "If I wasn't, I wouldn't be here. I'm not going to put myself through that. I've done that and it's not any fun. I'm healthy and I'm going to do what I can to make this team. Today wasn't a good start, but every day is a new day I'm going to work hard. We have another month left, so we'll see what happens.
"If at the end of camp they tell me they don't need me, then I'll go home. But I'm hoping I can get some good outings in and make an impression."
Manager Eric Wedge believes Bonderman threw better than the results indicated.
"I thought he looked good," Wedge said. "I was impressed with what we saw. We don't get too caught up in the scorecard, but if you just talk about the way the ball was coming out of his hand -- he wasn't really catching upon the breaking ball, but the action was there.
"He was just a little tardy with that. But that's something you expect to come a little later. Usually it's the secondary stuff, the breaking pitches, that are more of a feel and a slot. But overall, I was really happy with what we saw."
Garland expects to see game action this week
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Veteran right-hander Jon Garland threw live batting practice Monday and said he'll likely get into his first Cactus League game later this week as he progresses from shoulder surgery that sidelined him for the past 18 months.
Garland, 33, signed with the Mariners as a non-roster invitee after sitting out all last season. But the former American League All-Star has won 132 big league games and was a workhorse for the White Sox, Angels, D-backs and Padres from 2002-10 before undergoing rotator cuff surgery in '11.
Garland could contend for a rotation spot if he proves healthy, but has some hurdles to clear first.
"I'm not real happy with my mechanics. I guess it's kind of to be expected, but it's not," Garland said prior to Monday's session. "It's like riding a bike, you think you should be able to get right back up there and do it."
Garland said the good news is his shoulder has felt strong in his initial work. Now he just needs to iron out his motion and release point.
"I'm just a little aggressive," he said. "We'll figure it out. We'll be all right. I'm flying open, missing up and away, not using the backside or driving as well. But if I get those things calmed down, I'll be fine.
"The arm has felt good, so we'll go from there. That's the most important thing for anybody in here. Regardless of whether it's me coming back or somebody who is 20 years old, in Spring Training, you've got to feel good. That's the most important thing is getting out of here healthy."
Manager Eric Wedge said Garland threw well in his Monday session and was on target to start later this week.
"He looked a lot more comfortable today," Wedge said. "He was letting loose, reaching out with better extension and better life on his pitches. So it was a better day for Jon."
• Felix Hernandez threw his third 10-minute bullpen session of the spring Monday and now will progress to live batting practice sessions later this week. Hernandez isn't expected to throw in a Cactus League game until the following week.
• Young catching prospect John Hicks singled in the eighth inning Monday and to improve to 3-for-3 this spring and 5-for-5 in two years of Cactus League action. Hicks went 2-for-2 with a home run last year, when he played one game as a Minor League callup.
• Third baseman Alex Liddi launched a two-run home run over the left-field wall in the seventh inning of Monday's 9-8 Cactus League win against the Angels for his first hit in nine spring at-bats.
"That's one of the furthest balls I've seen hit in my short period of time here," manager Eric Wedge said. "He has that type of power. He's in the best shape that we've seen him and he's moving around great. He has that bat speed, it's just been more about this approach and swing plane and plate coverage and staying on top of the ball. I thought he worked his way through BP and got better as he went today, and obviously he was able to work that into the game."