3/11/2014 7:08 P.M. ET
After McClendon inquires, call overturned
By John Schlegel / MLB.com
TEMPE, Ariz. -- As Lloyd McClendon prepared for a road Spring Training game in which expanded instant replay would be available to him for the first time, the Mariners' manager approached it with much the same thought process as he does the team's ever-developing roster heading toward Opening Day.
"It's a work in progress," McClendon said prior to Tuesday's game against the Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium. "We'll see how it goes."
As it turned out, the first chance McClendon had to use the system worked out very well for the Mariners. With an assist from bench coach Trent Jewett, McClendon used his one challenge for the game to get a call overturned in his team's favor, a positive first step into the system for the new Seattle skipper as Major League Baseball puts expanded instant replay to use in select Spring Training games this March.
McClendon became the first manager to have a call overturned in favor of his club during testing of the new system.
With one out in the eighth inning and the Mariners rallying, McClendon questioned a call by second-base umpire Chad Whitson -- a Minor League umpire called up for exhibition games -- that second baseman Andrew Romine had successfully forced out Tyler Smith before clearly bobbling the ball. The review -- which lasted approximately 2 minutes, 30 seconds -- reversed the forceout call, with umpire Dale Scott receiving word on a headset from fellow veteran Kerwin Danley in the television truck watching the game that the call should be overturned, granting Smith second base. A run scored on the play, and the Mariners wound up taking a 6-5 lead later in the inning.
"Trent told me he thought it was a bobble, and I said, 'I agree, let's go out and see what happens,'" McClendon said afterward.
After the call was overturned, the Mariners caught and passed the Angels for a 10-6 victory -- and McClendon knew before the game was over that the replay would be a postgame topic of discussion with the media.
"I also told Trent we'd be talking more about this … replay than we will about the game. But that's the way it is," McClendon said.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia, while noting that managers and umpires are still working out the parameters of the new system, said it's that type of play -- a transfer of the ball from glove to bare hand at second on a potential double play -- that could come under higher scrutiny going forward.
"Before, it was called really loosely, where if you had the ball in your glove and you moved your glove to get it to your bare hand, it was [called an out]," said Scioscia, who briefly got an explanation of the reversed call once it was made. "That's going to change the mechanics of how you turn a double play. A lot of guys are really adept at closing their glove and flipping it to their bare hand for a quick transfer. If there's a bobble on that, it's going to be called safe."
McClendon was set up with a walkie-talkie so he could communicate with team video coordinator Jimmy Hartley, who would be monitoring the game via the television feed and responsible for tipping off McClendon to a reviewable call. But in this case, McClendon didn't need the help, other than conferring with Jewett.
McClendon will get another chance to use the system in the Mariners' home game Wednesday night against the Cubs.
It's a lot to learn. McClendon said he plans to have the new rules posted in the dugout for reference, now and during the regular season, to ensure he's on the right track.
Saying with a chuckle that it's "another tool that managers can be second-guessed with," McClendon is embracing the new system while learning its nuances the best he can during Spring Training.
"Ultimately, they want to get it right. You'd hope that would be the case," McClendon said.
Mariners cut camp roster down to 44 players
PEORIA, Ariz. -- The latest round of cuts at Mariners camp included 11 players either optioned to Triple-A Tacoma or reassigned to Minor League camp, trimming the camp roster to 44 players, including 12 non-roster invitees.
In moves made Tuesday morning, left-hander Bobby LaFromboise, right-hander Logan Bawcom, catcher Jesus Sucre and infielders Ji-Man Choi and Carlos Triunfel were optioned to the Tacoma roster.
Right-handers Logan Kensing and Matt Palmer, lefty Nick Hill, catcher Mike Dowd and infielders Ty Kelly and Nate Tenbrink were the six players sent to Minor League camp.
Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon spent much of the morning speaking to the players the club was sending out of camp.
"They're all tough," McClendon said of the cuts. "Any time you've got to tell a young man that his dream is not going to come to fruition at this particular time, that's tough. They all work hard, they give us all they've got. I was very pleased.
"Like I told all of them, it wasn't performance based. The numbers are such that we have to start moving guys out, but their performances will not be forgotten, and at some point, they'll be back."
With the moves, the Mariners now have 23 pitchers in camp, including eight non-roster invitees, as well as three catchers (one NRI), nine infielders (one NRI) and nine outfielders (two NRI).
• Corey Hart was a late scratch from Tuesday's lineup with some tenderness in his right forearm from throwing. The Mariners decided to be extra cautious and pulled him from the lineup, even though he was slated to be the designated hitter. Jesus Montero took his place.
• D.J. Peterson, the team's first-round pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, is recovering from an intestinal illness that knocked him for a loop in recent days, sending him to the hospital overnight Saturday night. McClendon said appendicitis has been ruled out, and that Peterson is three or four days away from joining the team's Minor League camp. Before his illness, Peterson went 4-for-7 with a homer with the big club.
• Dustin Ackley's hot spring continued with a double in his first at-bat Tuesday off Angels starter C.J. Wilson, his fifth two-base hit of the spring.
John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnSchlegelMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.