2/24/2014 9:01 P.M. ET
Mariners taking it slow with Walker, Maurer
By Chris Gabel / Special to MLB.com
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Taijuan Walker's slow start to the spring continues to be just that.
Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon reiterated on Monday that the team will bring its top prospect along gradually, after Walker showed up to camp with a sore shoulder.
"That's the plan," McClendon said. "Keep moving forward. He has a couple scheduled days off, and then he'll get back out there."
The right-hander was held out of the first four days of camp because of the soreness -- the result of too much throwing during the offseason. Walker threw his first bullpen session, lasting 5 minutes and 25 pitches, a week ago, and he has not pitched off a mound since.
McClendon said Walker has not had any pain recurring in his throwing shoulder but understood the focus on his 21-year-old pitcher.
"I keep asking the same thing," McClendon said.
Right-hander Brandon Maurer also is on the mend, battling a back issue that caused him to miss his first live batting-practice session Friday. Both Maurer and McClendon said the tightness is not considered serious.
"It's not going to be too long. I should be able to pick it up after a break," said Maurer, though no date has been set for when he will throw again. "We're just taking it day by day. ... The best thing for it is rest; stay off of it until it's better."
Morrison working at first base as precaution
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said Justin Smoak is the team's first baseman. But that is the only position at which Logan Morrison is working early in camp.
Morrison, of course, was acquired from the Marlins in an offseason trade to bring a left-handed power bat to the Seattle lineup. Morrison was primarily an outfielder until last year, and that eventually may be where he is listed most often on the Mariners' lineup card -- if not designated hitter -- but for now, Morrison is a first baseman in McClendon's eyes.
"As spring progresses, he'll get some work in the outfield," McClendon said during his Monday morning media briefing. "Right now, I chose to leave him in the infield to make sure he's moving forward and staying healthy. The same with [Corey] Hart. He'll stay in the outfield for now, but he'll get some work at first, too."
Morrison played as an outfielder in 181 of 185 games over 2010-11 and 59 of 93 games in 2012. But injuries relegated him to first base in 79 of the 85 games he played last season.
Morrison was a highly touted prospect coming up through the Marlins' system and delivered on that promise in 2010, when he hit .283, and the early portion of 2011, when he clubbed 23 home runs.
"It's just a matter of health with LoMo. When he's healthy, he can do some damage," McClendon said. "My job is to do everything we possibly can to keep him healthy. And right now, moving him back and forth in the early spring is something I don't want to do."
Griffey stops by Mariners camp
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Ken Griffey Jr. made an impromptu appearance at Mariners camp on Monday.
Griffey, who spent much of the fall in Arizona with his oldest son, Trey, playing football for the University of Arizona in Tucson, was on his way to Mexico City.
He spent some time chatting with Willie Bloomquist, Justin Smoak and Mike Zunino around the batting cage -- Griffey did most of the talking -- before sharing a few laughs with new Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon.
• Manager Lloyd McClendon said new closer Fernando Rodney will throw his first bullpen session Tuesday.
• The Mariners will play an intrasquad game Tuesday before opening Cactus League play Thursday afternoon against the Padres.
Chris Gabel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.