BY Adam Lewis 11:46AM 03/31/2015

Mariners roundup: Miller trim time; Felix routed

Long-haired SS Brad Miller will likely be sporting a new, more traditional look by the time the Mariners start the regular season Monday.

After an off-season spent growing out his hair, Mariners SS Brad Miller is being forced to trim it. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

In what some may construe as an attempt to limit personal expression, Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon has ordered SS Brad Miller to cut his hair.

While fans of Keanu Reeves, Tim Riggins and The Doobie Brothers are sure to be disappointed, it was probably for the best. In a Monday profile in The News Tribune, longtime baseball beat writer Bob Dutton aptly compared Miller to a romance novel cover boy.

“I have to cut it,” he told Dutton. “It was not my decision, no. But I have to cut it. I’ve got to cut it here soon.”

That Miller’s hair style is making headlines is probably a sign that it’s time for the regular season to start. The Mariners have three exhibition games remaining before they kick off the season Monday afternoon against the Los Angeles Angels at Safeco Field.

Miller will undoubtedly start that game after an eventful past month. He won the starting shortstop job when Chris Taylor was hit by a pitch and broke his right wrist in mid-March. Taylor is likely to start the regular season on the 15-day disabled list, which gives the 25-year-old Miller first dibs on the starting job after posting a .221/.288/.365 slash line in 2014 with 10 home runs and 36 RBIs in 123 games.

First, he needs to recover from a weekend spent dealing with flu-like symptoms, which caused him to miss three games before he returned to the lineup Monday.

“Friday, I woke up in the middle of the night and lost everything,” he said. “We had a night game. I came to the (complex) around 10, and they immediately hooked me up with an IV.

“I was there for an hour and a half, just getting filled up. I’m trying to build back up. I probably lost five pounds. Hopefully, in three or four days, I get back to normal.”

Hernandez struggles, McClendon ejected

Ace RHP Felix Hernandez capped an uncharacteristic spring Tuesday when he allowed seven runs over 1.2 innings in the Mariners’ 8-6 loss to the Cleveland Indians at Goodyear Ballpark.

“Today was not good,” Hernandez told “I couldn’t get my balance. I was like falling back. I couldn’t feel my legs. I don’t know.  I don’t know. It’s correctable, for sure. I wasn’t even turning. You could see it. The mound was a little weird. But I’m fine.”

The loss dropped Hernandez to 0-3 with a 10.22 ERA in four Cactus League starts after he finished the 2014 season second in the American League Cy Young race. He threw 47 pitches, 29 strikes, and had erratic command, with two walks and a hit batter. He gave up four runs in the first inning, two via a home run from 1B Brandon Moss, and bowed out in the second after allowing an RBI double from CF Michael Bourn and a two-run double to Carlos Santana. He also hit Michael Brantley.

“Physically everything was fine,” Hernandez said. “Mechanically was the problem. I was up. I was up the entire game, Well, not even the entire game. The 1 2/3 (innings).”

This after the Mariners built a three-run lead in the first inning on a solo home run from utility man Rickie Weeks and a two-run shot from DH Nelson Cruz.

McClendon, who was ejected Tuesday, wasn’t worried about Hernandez after Seattle dropped to 11-16-2 in Cactus League. He even referenced a recent lower body workout that Hernandez completed that could have disrupted his rhythm.

“He’s going to be fine,” he said. “This is a spring training game. That’s the way it goes.”

Hernandez won’t pitch again until Monday, when he makes the eighth opening day start of his career.

Bad springs haven’t always been a bad omen for “The King.”

Mariners make roster moves

The Mariners released OF Franklin Gutierrez and LHP Joe Saunders from their minor league contracts and both opted to re-sign with Triple-A Tacoma, the club said Tuesday.

OF Endy Chavez was also released but opted out of his minor-league contract. RHP Kevin Correia (0-0, 16.87 ERA) was released from his minor-league deal Monday.

Gutierrez, the club’s starting center fielder before numerous health problems derailed his career, played in two games this spring and didn’t record a hit in five at-bats, while Chavez went 4-for-21 from the plate in 12 games.

The latter hit .276 last season with Seattle in 80 games after posting a .267 mark with the Mariners in 2013. Chavez, 37, also played 54 games with Seattle in 2009, but his season was cut short when he collided with SS Yuniesky Betancourt and sustained a serious right knee injury.

Saunders was competing for a job as a situational left-hander out of the bullpen, but he struggled, giving up nine runs on 12 hits and five walks in 6.1 innings.


LHP James Paxton (1-1, 2.57 ERA) makes his third and final Cactus League start Wednesday at 1:05 p.m. (Root Sports, MLB.TV) when the Mariners host the Chicago White Sox in Peoria. Paxton missed part of spring after tripping and bruising his forearm during a fielding drill but has rebounded nicely to build his innings count in time for the regular season.


  • Long-Time Mariners Fan

    The Haircut – this makes no sense to me. This is 2015, not 1965. (And I’ve lived through both.) He doesn’t have lice. He keeps it clean. It doesn’t restrict his vision.

    The only two people who seem to care are Miller and McClendon – Brad wants it long and Lloyd wants it short. But guess what? A player who is happy and confident with his appearance doesn’t have to think about his appearance, and one more thing NOT to think about makes a better ballplayer. (“Don’t think – you can only hurt the ballclub.”)

    So, Lloyd… may I call you Lloyd? It’s Miller who will be assuming duties at shortshop, not you. It’s Miller who plays between the white lines and steps into the batter’s box, not you. If you want to clamp down on extraneous expression, start with that Arrow-thing of Rodney’s.

    • Art Thiel

      Any man who begins half his sentences with, “Listen . . . ” is not a man to listen to you, or me, or anyone else. But if Miller hits .160 in April, I’m all over Lloyd.

  • just passing thru

    So long to Endy – always a gamer!

    • Art Thiel

      Someone will hire him. Modern-day Rich Amaral.

    • jafabian

      They can always bring him back. He’s just looking to see if there’s any takers out there for him.

  • Joe Fan

    So the horrendous looking Ackley beard is okay, but longer hair on Miller is not? That doesn’t make sense to me.

    • RadioGuy

      I guess Brad’s hair wasn’t swinging the bat or fielding grounders the way Mac wants it to, but Ackley’s beard is hitting well over .300. BTW, I don’t like the beard either. What’s the deal with those anyway? Some beards make a player look like he should be marching through Georgia instead of stepping to the plate.

      • Art Thiel

        One more sentence and you’d be saying, “Damn hippies!”

        • RadioGuy

          Nah, I only pull that old chestnut out when I channel my inner Sheriff Joe Higgins.

    • Art Thiel

      Let me guess — you where a Buhner buzz cut guy.

    • jafabian

      Ackley said in an interview he can keep the beard but must keep it neat. Can’t grow it out like a hobbit.

  • coug73

    For McClendon, Brad Miller has not passed the look test a short stop.

    • Art Thiel

      Bring back Betancourt.

  • Sam Base

    This seems to be the year of the haircuts. McCutcheon and Weeks were probably the most surprising, but both of their own volition. The Miller one is probably the most puzzling. Maybe McClendon never heard of The Beatles. Or saw the movie Easy Rider. Or heard the song “Hair” from the Broadway musical of the same name. Brad Miller strikes me as a modern day hippie at heart: friendly, positive, full of good will for everyone. The long hair kind of fit him. And now it will be tossed to the floor, swept away like the decade that gave it birth. The Sixties really are over. Kind of a bummer if you ask me.

    • Art Thiel

      You aren’t one of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, are you?

      • RadioGuy

        Loved those guys. At least I THINK I did. Frankly, I don’t remember…

  • Mavis Jarvis

    Well, my opinion of McClendon just went down a few clicks.

    • Art Thiel

      He has spoken well of you.

  • jafabian

    Nice to see some sort of personal appearance code on the club. I used to wish that the M’s would adopt the same standards that the Yankees have but heard how the Seahawks players appreciate how the club lets players be themselves (in more ways than one) and figured if the club is winning, let them be. However I feel if you are a professional, then look like one. Represent to the best of your ability. That includes how you look.

    • notaboomer

      pro has nothing to do with hairdos. by your conformist standards, not giving the ball to lynch was justified due to his “unprofessional” hairstyle.

      • Art Thiel

        Nota is right. Look at any classical music orchestra. They’re pros, and they have many do’s.

  • notaboomer

    redsox, As, and some other team with seattle connections–oh yeah the seahawks, seem to have fared well while letting players make their own grooming choices (or were beards required in boston?). lloyd mcclendon’s got nothing, really. oh and i think art should do the grey ponytail thing this season.

    • Art Thiel

      Can’t. Hair in back is still dark.

    • coug73

      With the ball cap of his choosing.