BY SPNW Staff 09:07AM 03/02/2012

Mariners open Cactus play; Felix to start in Japan

Beavan, Noesi, Vargas and Iwakuma to get the first starts as Mariners spring training starts Friday with games against teams other than themselves.

Felix Hernandez, who will start the season opener March 28, won't be among the pitching probables when the Mariners launch Cactus League play Friday. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

The Seattle Mariners launch their 2012 Cactus League season Friday, and have penciled in the probable pitchers for the first four games. Felix Hernandez is not among them. Manager Eric Wedge is setting up Hernandez to start the season opener in Japan March 28, so Hernandez threw a simulated game Thursday instead of working the Cactus League opener Friday against the Athletics in Phoenix.

Blake Beavan will make Seattle’s first Cactus League start, with Hector Noesi working Saturday against Oakland. Jason Vargas will start Sunday against San Diego in the annual charity league game, and Hisashi Iwakuma will work Monday, also against the Padres.

All games start at 12:05 p.m., Pacific time.

Beavan, a 6-7 right hander, appeared in 15 games (all starts) for the Mariners in 2011, going 5-6 with a 4.27 ERA. He had his best outing Sept. 16 when he allowed just four hits over eight innings in a 4-0 victory over the Texas Rangers.

Noesi, who came to the Mariners Jan. 23 along with Jesus Montero in a trade that sent Michael Pineda to the Yankees, went 2-2 for New York with a 4.47 ERA. He posted his best outing July 22 when he blanked Oakland on four hits over 3.2 innings of relief.

Vargas had a 10-13 record and 4.25 ERA in 2011 working primarily as Seattle’s third starter. His season included a 2-0 complete-game shutout over Philadelphia June 19. Vargas had four complete games in 2011, including three shutouts.

Iwakuma has yet to pitch in the major leagues, but had an extensive All-Star career in Japan. He’ll make $1.5 million guaranteed in 2012 with a potential to earn $3.4 million in incentives.

Seattle Mariners 2012 Cactus League Schedule

Date Opponent Location Time
Friday, March 2 at Oakland Athletics Phoenix 1:05/12:05
Saturday, March 3 Oakland Athletics Peoria 1:05/12:05
Sun. March 4 San Diego Padres Peoria 1:05/12:05
Mon. March 5 San Diego Padres Peoria 1:05/12:05
Tues. March 6 Cincinnati Reds Peoria 1:05/12:05
Wed. March 7 at Los Angeles Angels Tempe 1:05/12:05
Thurs. March 8 at Chicago Cubs Mesa 1:05/12:05
Fri. March 9 Arizona Diamondbacks Peoria 1:05/12:05
Sat. March 10 Los Angeles Dodgers (ss) Peoria 1:05/12:05
at Arizona Diamondbacks (ss) Scottsdale 7:10/6:10
Sun. March 11 at San Francisco Giants Scottsdale 1:05
Mon. March 12 Texas Rangers Peoria 1:05
Tues. March 13 at Milwaukee Brewers Maryvale 1:05
Wed. March 14 Kansas City Royals Peoria 7:05
Thurs. March 15 San Francisco Giants Peoria 7:05
Fri. March 16 at Oakland Athletics Phoenix 7:05
Sat. March 17 at Chicago White Sox Glendale 1:05
Sun. March 18 Colorado Rockies Peoria 1:05
Mon. March 19 Chicago Cubs Peoria 1:05
Tues. March 20 at Cincinnati Reds Goodyear 1:05
Wed. March 21 Chicago White Sox Peoria 1:05
Thurs. March 22 Travel To Japan
Fri. March 23 No game scheduled
Sat. March 24 No game scheduled
Sun. March 25 Exhibition game — TBA Japan TBA
Mon. March 26 Exhibition game — TBA Japan TBA
Tues. March 27 OFF DAY
Wed. March 28 at Oakland (regular season) Tokyo Dome 3:05 a.m.
Thur. March 29 at Oakland (regular season) Tokyo Dome 3:05 a.m.
Fri. March 30 Return From Japan
Sat. March 31 San Diego Padres (ss) Peoria 6:05
Sun. April 1 Kansas City Royals Peoria 1:05
Mon. April 2 Colorado Rockies Peoria 1:05
Tues. April 3 at Colorado Rockies Scottsdale 1:05
Wed. April 4 TBA TBA TBA

— All times are local
— Daylight savings time begins March 11


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