By Shannon Drayer
PEORIA, Ariz. – I mentioned Friday that there had been a shakeup in the pitching rotation with Roenis Elias starting Sunday against the Angels and Scott Baker getting a start in a Triple-A game. Lloyd McClendon confirmed that one of the reasons for the switch was because Baker has started against the Angels twice this spring and that Elias was being stretched out as well. Stretched out not as a long reliever or swingman, but as a starter.
"Left-hander, 91-94, he throws strikes, has quality stuff, he competes, holds runners. He's been interesting," said McClendon
Elias, who finished 6-11 with a 3.18 ERA and 50/121 BB/K at Double-A Jackson last year, is scheduled to throw up to 75 pitches against the Angels Sunday. He is afastball, curveball, changeup pitcher with the curve (a power curve) as his go to putaway pitch.
Abraham Almonte is leading off once more. He has led off in 11 of the Mariners' 19 games this spring. We get our first look at Logan Morrison in the outfield. Corey Hart, playing in back-to-back games, is in at DH after playing 1B Friday.
Robinson Cano is not with the team today as he has traveled home to the Dominican Republic to take care of a personal issue. He will be back with the club Tuesday.
• Pitcher Brandon Maurer has been sidelined once again with a stiff back. According to McClendon he could be out for another 6-7 days.
• The news is better for reliever Stephen Pryor, who threw a live batting practice session Friday. His next step will be to throw in a minor-league game in the next couple of days.
• If you are looking for a good Sunday read (and I know it is Saturday but trust me, this is a coffee and time piece), Jim Caple has a terrific piece on Rockies reliever LaTroy Hawkins and the relationship he has with a special group of fans. I have heard raves from former teammates of Hawkins over the years about how he is a quality person and this piece illustrates that.