03/25/2013 4:40 PM ET
Young at heart, Ibanez ready for next chapter
By Greg Johns / MLB.com
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Raul Ibanez might be in a different age bracket than his Mariners teammates, but don't try telling that to the 40-year-old outfielder.
Ibanez, starting his 17th season in the Major Leagues, is having a terrific spring, batting .366 (15-for-41) with four home runs, four doubles and a team-leading 13 RBIs in 14 Cactus League games going into Monday's outing against the Reds in Goodyear.
Just how old does he think he is in his own head?
"Twenty-five," Ibanez said with a chuckle. "I really do. I'm 25. I really do think that. I don't even see what the big deal is with the age thing. Maybe I'm naive to it all, but I feel great, so I really don't think about it. Except when these guys remind me; which is pretty much every day."
Ibanez is a bit different than many of his teammates, of course. He's the father of five. He was selected in the 36th round of the 1992 Draft, when current teammates Brandon Maurer and Carter Capps were 1 year old and Jesus Montero, Blake Beavan and Erasmo Ramirez were 2.
And yet ...
"I feel great," Ibanez said. "When I turned 40, I told someone it was like the Y2K. The day before, there was all this big blowup and you're wondering what's going to happen. And you open your eyes, just like the day you turn 40, and you go, 'Oh, nothing happened.'
"Or like Dec. 12, 2012, when everybody was freaking out [because it was 12/12/12]. You wake up and nothing happened. Everything is the same. Business as usual. So that's really the way I look at the whole thing."
Ibanez, who turns 41 on June 2, signed a one-year, $2.75 million deal with the Mariners to bring a veteran voice and work ethic to the clubhouse. And judging by this spring, he plans to bring a still-potent bat to the lineup, as well, after hitting .240 with 19 home runs and 62 RBIs in 384 at-bats for the Yankees last year.
Erasmo prepping for whatever role club needs
PEORIA, Ariz. -- While fellow rotation candidates Brandon Maurer, Blake Beavan and Jeremy Bonderman continue getting starts this spring, Erasmo Ramirez is slated for his second straight bullpen appearance Wednesday.
The young right-hander said Monday his arm feels fine and nobody has told him he's no longer competing for a rotation berth, but he'll do whatever he's asked in the coming days.
Ramirez gave up six hits and four runs in two innings in his last outing Thursday against the Cubs, but he said everything is fine physically. He was working on his throwing motion in the bullpen on his own after Monday's workout, mentally trying to hone his delivery.
"I feel good," said the 22-year-old. "When I throw the ball, everything is fine. I'm just trying to control my breaking ball. I'm having a little trouble with the curve, but no pain. Everything is normal. I've just been a little high with that pitch, and I'm trying to bring it down."
Ramirez broke camp with the Mariners as a reliever last season before being converted to a starter in midseason. He finished the year with a 1-3 record and 3.36 ERA in 16 games, including eight starts.
"I was working all Spring Training as a starter, so my mind right now is like a starter. But back to the bullpen sounds fine," he said. "But I don't know. Last year they had me, like, starter, reliever, starter, reliever and more reliever the last month. This year I was starting from the time I got here, so my mind is like a starter right now.
"But if they give me a chance, all right, take it, and just figure out how to warm up for games. Just start over. I already know what to do, so just have to figure out my new plan and let's go. My goal right now is to make the team as a starter, but you never know. Last year, I didn't know. Relieving was fun, so I have to be ready for anything and let's see what happens."
Mariners add reliever Loe to big league roster
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Veteran right-handed reliever Kameron Loe, one of several non-roster invitees competing for jobs with the Mariners, was added to the club's Major League roster on Monday and appears to have made the team.
Loe, 31, signed a Minor League deal with the Mariners just before camp opened and had an opt-out clause that would have allowed him to leave if he wasn't added to the 40-man roster by Monday.
Loe has been strong all spring, posting a 1-0 record with one save and a 1.80 ERA while walking two and striking out 15 in 10 innings.
Right-handed reliever Josh Kinney was placed on the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster. Kinney has been sidelined the past two weeks with a stress reaction in his ribs.
Loe has been a durable setup reliever for the Brewers the past two years. He went 6-5 with two saves and a 4.61 ERA in 70 relief appearances last season, and had a 3.50 ERA in 72 games in 2011.
The 6-foot-8 Loe pitched for the Rangers from 2004-08 before joining the Brewers in 2010 after a year in Japan. In his Major League career, he's posted a 32-40 record with a 4.36 ERA in 302 appearances, including 47 starts while with the Rangers.
His 142 appearances in the past two years tied for the 11th most among National League relievers.
Kinney has not appeared in a spring game since March 6 after continued discomfort in his upper left back was diagnosed as a stress reaction. The 34-year-old continues to receive treatment, but has not thrown since being sidelined.
• Jeremy Bonderman will get his last start of the spring on Tuesday when the Mariners host the Royals in Peoria, with Danny Farquhar, Charlie Furbush, Tom Wilhelmsen and Loe among the scheduled relievers.
• Felix Hernandez will start Wednesday, with Ramirez slated to throw in relief for a second straight outing. Hisashi Iwakuma will then go on Thursday in the final Cactus League game against the Cubs in Mesa, with Maurer scheduled to start the Saturday exhibition game against the Rockies in Salt Lake City.
• Dustin Ackley was not in the lineup Monday, but the second baseman has recorded four straight multi-hit games to raise his spring average to .375 (15-for-40).
• All the remaining Cactus League games are available live on 710 ESPN Seattle, and the Saturday exhibition in Salt Lake City will be televised on ROOT Sports at 1:05 p.m. PT.