Updated Mar 6, 2013 - 3:50 pm
Zduriencik: Harmony among veterans and prospects
The Mariners, owners of an impressive 10-2 spring training record, boast a roster almost evenly split between up-and-coming prospects and veteran clubhouse leaders. General manager Jack Zduriencik talked to "Bob and Groz" Tuesday, and he said that makeup could be a reason for their early success, whether it's trivial or not.
"I think what we're seeing is young kids growing up a little bit, and I think we're seeing the veteran presence right now," Zduriencik said.
The Mariners expect Raul Ibanez to provide offense and a veteran presence that was lacking last season. (AP)
"Raul Ibanez is a favorite for everybody here. The day he walked in his locker room there was an immediate respect for what this guy has done in the game, and what a genuine person he is," Zduriencik said. "He wants to be the mentor, he wants to put his arm around guys. He will address issues when they need to be addressed, and I think that was something that we were lacking (in 2012).
"And there's probably not a better human being in the game than Raul Ibanez, and we're really happy that he decided to come to Seattle."
Of course, the Mariners' harmony isn't a surprise to the architect of it all.
"I said to the players the first day that I spoke to them before we took the field, 'I think that you veteran guys that have come in here are going to be very impressed with the young guys, and I think you young guys are going to be very impressed with the veterans,' and I really think that's what we've seen so far," Zduriencik said. "I do think there is a veteran presence here. I think you're seeing guys playing off of each other. It's a really good vibe."
Zduriencik also touched on the impressive springs of Justin Smoak and Franklin Gutierrez, how the starting rotation is shaping up, and if he's feeling any pressure in his fourth year on the job.
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