Experienced Josh Bard was passed over to step in for injured Adam Moore. The reason? The Mariners like Gimenez’s ability to play positions other than catch. Though there are holes in this argument.
The Mariners had a bit of a surprise in store Friday.
Bard was thought to have the inside track, because he was with the organization last year, played some in the big leagues and knows the pitching staff better.
What Gimenez offers is the versatility to play left and right field plus first and third base in addition to catching.
“It was his versatility that really stood out, manager Eric Wedge said. “I was really impressed by what saw of him in the spring.
The thing is, as one of just two catchers on the roster, Gimenezs versatility is of limited value, because Wedge, like most managers, is leery about having more than one catcher in the game at any point.
Moore will have surgery on his right meniscus Tuesday. Theres no way to tell just how much time he will miss, but a meniscus injury is particularly troublesome for a catcher, because of the pressure constantly put on his knees.
So the Mariners decided to make sure Moore wasnt rushed and put him on the 60-day disabled list rather than the 15-day list. That move enabled Seattle to have room on the 40-man roster for Gimenez, a non-roster player, because players on the 60-day DL dont count against the roster limit.
“The news on Moore wasnt bad; it could have been worse, Wedge said. “It was tough to watch (the injury develop), and the doctors wont know the full extent until they go in there.
BAT SPACE: Ichiro Suzuki has had 10 years to get used to Safeco Field.
And just when hes got it down, they go and change it on him.
One of the subtle changes to the Mariners home this year is that the dugout benches have been rebuilt.
For 10 years, Ichiro has come into the dugout before batting practice and put two bats (never more, never less) in exactly the same spot in the dugout, there to remain while he goes to the outfield to stretch and catch flies and do some throwing.
Friday, however, he and trainer Rick Griffin were scouting out the best place to put the bats. Ichiro was having trouble settling on one.
Griffin suggested a couple of spots, but neither seemed to suit. Finally, Ichiro leaned the bats against the bench and went out to work.
Theres no betting in baseball, so they say, but it would be worth a fiver that the bats wind up in the exact same spot Saturday and for the rest of the 80 home games on the schedule.
NOTES: Franklin Gutierrez played three innings in the field and got two at-bats in an extended spring game at the Mariners minor league complex Friday. The Mariners would like to see Gutierrez, who is on the disabled list with ongoing stomach problems, be able to do the same Saturday and gradually build up strength. He could be back in a little over a week. Ryan Langershans walked in each of his four plate trips, just the second time in his career he’s done that. … The last time the Mariner pitching staff surrendered 10 runs in an inning was May 8, 2003, when the Yankees got 10. … The last time Seattle pitchers gave up 10 hits in an inning was May 28, 2000 in a game at Tampa Bay. … In pregame ceremonies, Ichiro received his Gold Glove from last year, but Gutierrez, who also won a Gold Glove for his defense last year, wasnt around to get it. The Mariners may have a separate ceremony for him, once hes back and active. Edgar Martinez presented Ichiro with a framed photo of Ichiro getting the 2,288th hit of his career last Saturday, the hit that moved Ichiro past Edgar and into first place in the Mariner record books for most hits. Felix Hernandez got his Cy Young Award, too, or at least a version of it; he got the actual award in New York in January. Much of the pregame was devoted to memories of late announcer Dave Niehaus. A section of 1st Ave. S was named in Niehaus honor. His wife, Marilyn Niehaus, threw out the first pitch.