3/4/2014 6:53 P.M. ET
Young prospect Marte gets his shot
By Greg Johns / MLB.com
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- With Mariners skipper Lloyd McClendon looking to give many of his veterans a day off in the wake of Monday's split-squad games, young Minor League prospect Ketel Marte got the start at second base in Tuesday's 4-1 victory over the Dodgers and delivered a solid performance.
Marte, 20, hit .304 for Class A Clinton last year and is the Mariners' 20th-ranked prospect by MLB.com. He wasn't invited to Major League camp, where the Mariners already have a club-record 68 players. But the youngster got the call to help out on Monday during the split-squad action and performed well enough to get a second shot -- and a starting role -- Tuesday.
The switch-hitter responded by going 1-for-3 with a walk, a run scored and a stolen base, as well as a couple fine fielding plays while playing all nine innings.
Marte ranged to his right to short-hop a high chopper at the second-base bag and fire across his body to nail Dee Gordon for the final out of the seventh in impressive fashion, reminding his manager a little of Robinson Cano on the play.
"Wasn't too bad, was he?" said McClendon. "There's only one other guy I know that could make that play and he had the day off."
Like all the Minor League prospects, Marte has a long climb ahead. But it never hurts to get a little taste of the big league environment and a chance to impress your bosses.
"I think it's good when you can bring kids over from the Minor League camp and give them a shot in the arm," McClendon said. "It's good for the organization and he's a talented young man that deserves an opportunity to get a look. I wouldn't read too much into it, but I think it's good for the organization when you can do that."
McClendon said he's been impressed by all the youngsters he's dealt with from the farm system.
"It's very refreshing," he said. "I think it speaks volumes about our organization as a whole and what we've got coming."
Another young infielder who has caught the manager's eye is shortstop Chris Taylor, who is in Major League camp and ripped a grand slam in Monday's 6-5 victory over the Reds. Taylor was the Mariners' Minor League Player of the Year last year and is a strong defender.
"He's very polished young man," McClendon said. "I would say he's high on the list and he hasn't disappointed in Spring Training. He's a pretty solid young kid, and I like what I see."
Felix not satisfied with effort in first spring start
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Felix Hernandez threw two scoreless innings with two hits in his Cactus League debut on Tuesday in the Mariners' 4-1 victory over the Dodgers, but said he's got some work to do as he moves forward this spring.
"I'm OK. Not too happy, but I'm OK," Hernandez said after his 29-pitch outing, which included a leadoff double to Yasiel Puig in the first and a single by Juan Uribe in the second.
Hernandez's unhappiness stemmed over his inability to control his normally lethal changeup.
"My changeup wasn't working," Hernandez said. "I threw it a lot of times and it was garbage. It was bad."
"Probably the feel, probably the adrenaline, probably the first game," Hernandez said.
So the Mariners' ace wasn't perfect in his initial Cactus League appearance, but he still kept the Dodgers off the scoreboard in his two frames. After Puig ripped his first pitch -- a fastball -- to left-center for a double, Hernandez walked Carl Crawford on four pitches.
But he said he was intentionally pitching around Crawford to set up the double play, and that ploy worked to perfection when Hanley Ramirez promptly grounded into a twin killing before he struck out Andre Ethier to strand Puig at third.
Having a chance to work out of a jam got his competitive juices flowing. And for a first spring game, that was something to work off of as well.
"Always. It's always going to be like that," Hernandez said after bearing down. "I'm going to try to get them out, try not to let them score any runs and that's what I did."
Mariners invite fans to Safeco to watch road opener
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mariners fans who want to watch the Opening Day game against the Angels in Anaheim on March 31 will be able to view the game on the big screen at Safeco Field.
For the second consecutive year, the Mariners are holding an open house on Opening Day while the game shows on the MarinersVision screen, which is the largest video board in Major League Baseball.
The ballpark will open at 5:30 p.m. PT, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Admission is $1, with all proceeds going to Northwest Harvest, which collects and distributes food to approximately 300 hunger programs in the state of Washington. Each fan will receive a free "True to the Blue" T-shirt. Kids under 14 are free, but will still require a ticket for admission. Tickets are available online at mariners.com, at Mariners Team Stores and the Safeco Field ticket office.
Live music will be provided in The 'Pen before the game and fans will be able walk around the warning track and also buy pizza, hot dogs and beer at the concession stands. Safeco Field's parking garage will be available for season-ticket holders.
Single-game tickets for all 2014 home games will go on sale to the general public this Saturday at 10 a.m.
• Right-hander Brandon Maurer will get his first spring action Wednesday against the Indians after being held back for a week by a stiff back. He'll pitch an inning or two in relief of James Paxton.
• Closer Fernando Rodney is slated to make his Cactus League debut for the Mariners on Thursday when the Mariners face the White Sox in Glendale. The 36-year-old veteran has been on a slower schedule than most of Seattle's pitchers, but all of that is by design as he follows his normal spring routine, according to manager Lloyd McClendon.
• Taijuan Walker, who was shut down for a week to rest an inflamed right shoulder, will begin playing catch again Thursday or Friday, according to pitching coach Rick Waits. "He's champing at the bit, more than normal, which you like to see," Waits said.
• Kyle Seager returned to action Tuesday against the Dodgers after sitting out four days to rest a jammed right index finger. He didn't get a chance to play against younger brother, Corey, however. Corey Seager, the Dodgers' first-round selection in the 2012 Draft, is a 19-year-old in Minor League camp. He did not suit up for Tuesday's game.
There was another family connection in the game though, as Mariners first-base coach Andy Van Slyke's son, Scott, is an outfielder with the Dodgers who hit .240 with seven home runs in 53 games in 2013.
• Manuel Pina, a non-roster invitee who is one of seven catchers in camp, will be sidelined several weeks by a strained oblique muscle.
• Reliever Stephen Pryor threw 30 pitches Tuesday in his fourth bullpen session of the spring as he continues working back from surgery to repair the tendon behind his right shoulder.
• Hector Noesi threw two strong innings with just one hit in Tuesday's 4-1 win over the Dodgers and now has allowed just one hit and no runs in 3 2/3 frames.
"He's been good his last two outings," McClendon said. "He's thrown the ball extremely well. His challenge is to make it tough on the decisions we have to make. He's going about his business the right way and is doing a nice job."