3/22/2013 1:30 A.M. ET
Bay makes rare appearance in center field
By John Schlegel / MLB.com
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Jason Bay came into Mariners camp knowing he'd have to do anything the club wanted, which has included batting leadoff and on Thursday included playing center field.
Bay did not have an opportunity to field a ball, but manager Eric Wedge said he plans to put Bay out in center again on Friday night against the Indians as the club continues to take it easy on regular center fielder Franklin Gutierrez, who has been experiencing tightness in his legs.
"We're working real hard to get him out of here healthy," Wedge said of Gutierrez.
Bay, signed to a one-year deal as a free agent after a tumultuous stay with the Mets, said he last played center while on Canada's World Baseball Classic team in 2009, but he's prepared to do anything to help his standing on the club as he fights for a spot as a reserve outfielder.
"I kind of thought that I'd have to do some things to try and make the team, so the adaptability and whatever they needed is what we talked about when I got here," Bay said. "They can put me anywhere they want. I'm not too good in the infield, but anywhere else, I can help out."
Bay, who played center while Casper Wells took the spot in left Thursday, actually has played 40 games in center field since breaking into the big leagues in 2003, 30 of those games coming with the Pirates in 2005.
"I didn't really feel like I was out of position or anything," Bay said.
Whether center field ends up being a place Bay plays during the regular season is sort of moot -- the Mariners just need to know that he can, in case they need him to. As Bay and Wells appear locked in a battle for the final outfield spot, Bay is prepared to do whatever it takes.
"They need to know what I can do -- what's feasible and what's not," Bay said. "That's what Spring Training is for. I may never play an inning in center field, I may never bat leadoff, but this is the time to do it."
Strong spring bolsters Garland's roster hopes
PEORIA, Ariz. -- With six innings of strong work Thursday night and with everything else he'd done before that, right-hander Jon Garland says he's done what he can do to convince the Mariners they should give him a spot on the Opening Day roster.
"I think I've shown them everything I can, and now the decision is on them," said Garland, who like many veterans in his position has an opt-out clause in his Minor League deal.
Now it's up to the Mariners, and Garland would like to know the answer on Friday -- just in case the answer is no, so he'd still have time to latch on with another team.
"We obviously get together after every game, but that's obviously a specific situation, so we'll get together and talk about that and figure out what we're going to do," manager Eric Wedge said after Thursday's 7-4 loss to the Cubs.
After allowing two runs on five hits in six innings, Garland has allowed just three earned runs in 12 innings of Cactus League action this spring. Garland, 33, missed all of 2012 after undergoing shoulder surgery and was signed by the Mariners in early February.
"They know the type of pitcher I am. It's not like I'm going to come back after surgery and go out there and throw 95 [mph] and strike everybody out," Garland said. "If I'm healthy, I'm going to go out there and give the team a chance to win. That's what I've done my whole career, and given the opportunity here, I feel like I'll continue to do that."
And if he is not given that chance?
"I'm sure there have been scouts in the stands every time I've thrown, they're here anyway," Garland said. "If they don't want to keep me here, I'm sure there might be a phone call. If not, I'll be poolside at the house, hanging out."
• Kenji Johjima was a visitor in the Mariners' clubhouse Thursday afternoon, reconnecting with some of the players and staff who were around when the Japanese catcher played in Seattle from 2006-09. Among those were Michael Morse, who had fond memories of him.
"Kenji was always a great guy, a great friend," Morse said. "Actually, one of the shirts I have in my locker was one of his that I wear still. Great guy."
• After Thursday's game general manager Jack Zduriencik announced that outfielder Carlos Peguero had been optioned to Triple-A Tacoma and that right-handed pitcher Carson Smith and infielder Nick Franklin has been re-assigned to Minor League camp. The roster moves leave the Mariners with 34 players in their Major League camp: 27 roster players and 7 non-roster invitees.
• The Mariners' 46 homers through their first 25 games led all Spring Training teams and already stands as the third-most in the club's spring history, with the record of 51 set in 32 games in 1999. Meanwhile, the pitching staff has allowed 22 homers, the fourth-lowest total among the 15 Cactus League teams.
• The Budweiser Clydesdales made an appearance at Peoria Stadium prior to Thursday's game, set up in front of the main entrance in a team of eight pulling the beer wagon, which included a Dalmatian on top.
John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.