BY Art Thiel 04:56PM 03/27/2018

Mariners sign Jayson Werth; Vogelbach soars

The final day in Peoria included another homer by Dan Vogelbach, his seventh, and the signing to a minor league deal of free agent OF Jayson Werth.

Jayson Werth, 38, signed a minor league deal with the Mariners./ wikimedia.com

Free agent Jayson Werth, a 15-year veteran MLB outfielder who hit .226 with 10 homers in 70 games with Washington in 2017, signed a minor league contract with the Mariners Tuesday, and will work in extended spring training until he’s ready to join AAA Tacoma.

Werth, who will be 39 in May, has 229 career homers with four teams, including the past seven seasons with the Nationals, with whom he finished a $126 million contract last year.

“Jerry (Dipoto) mentioned it me about a week ago,” manager Scott Servais told reporters  in Peoria Tuesday. “I don’t have any history with him.  Obviously looking from afar, he’s been on a lot of winning teams and he knows how to play and controls the strike zone very well. He’s a good veteran presence in the clubhouse.

“He was looking for an opportunity to extend his career. Our group felt we had some opportunity and some at-bats at the Triple A level. He certainly hasn’t had any spring training. So he’ll stay down here a while to get some at-bats in extended spring training.”

The Mariners seem set in the outfield with Dee Gordon in center, Mitch Haniger in right and and Ben Gamel/Guillermo Heredia/Ichiro in left. But Ichiro, destined for a reserve role, went 0-for-3 in Tuesday’s Cactus League finale against Colorado — the Mariners won 5-3 to finish spring at 16-14-2, whatever that means — and was hitless in 10 at-bats in regulation games. He’s been bothered by a sore calf, and also missed time after being struck on the back of the helmet by a pitch.

“Unfortunately the leg injury with Ichiro slowed him down in the number of at-bats he can get and the comfort level he’s got,” Servais told reporters after the game. “It’s more about just getting him healthy and making sure he’s good to go when the bell rings on Thursday.

“The leg is what worries me, making sure he can move around, There’s nothing he’s guarding against in left field. Being able to cover the ground he needs to get to out there. You can’t protect him in the field.”

Ichiro will come north with the club. The Mariners have until 1 p.m. Thursday to finalize their 25-man roster, and it’s possible he could go on the disabled list.

Meanwhile, 1B Daniel Vogelbach finished his star turn in spring Tuesday with a three-run homer, his seventh of the spring, bringing his final average to .407, his OPB to .529 and his OPS to 1.455, all club highs.

“Vogelbomb ended his spring the right way,” Servais said after the game. “Danny had an awesome spring. It’s nice to see him complete it that way. You figured he was going to hit the ball hard somewhere. I’m hoping it continues. He’ll get a few starts here early this season and hopefully he stays hot.”

The Mariners open the regular season at 7:10 p.m. Thursday at Safeco Field against the Cleveland Indians, who will start ace Corey Kluber against Felix Hernandez, making his 10th consecutive opening-game start. Scattered single tickets and standing-room-only tickets remain.

Final spring stats here.

 

 


YourThoughts

  • Old Man

    Ichiro…Werth…Buhner?

    • art thiel

      Edgar still takes some BP cuts . . .

  • Sam Base

    Who would have thought that Daniel Vogelbach would be the best hitter in all of MLB during the spring, and that Shohei Ohtani would be so horribly bad as both a pitcher and a hitter that some people would be recommending that he start the season in the minor leagues? Amazing turn of events. What will the regular season hold…

    • Effzee

      I’m sure Vogelbach will be the next coming of Bucky Jacobson and Shohei Ohtani will be an All Star. Because Mariners.

      • art thiel

        What about Werth being the next Ichiro? Six years younger . . .

        • Effzee

          I’m open to it.

    • art thiel

      Dipoto has a lot of baseball capital invested in Vogelbach (Mike Montgomery). If he emerges, Dipoto might trust himself again.

  • Husky73

    Can the days of baseball players with lumberjack and Bhagwan beards please be over?

    • Effzee

      Never!

    • Effzee
    • Ed Norton

      I agree completely.

      • Effzee

        Why would another person’s chosen coiffure impact you in any way?

        • Husky73

          Impact? None. However, I felt the same about muttonchop sideburns (I had them), giant afros, bell bottoms (I wore them), leisure suits (mine was corduroy and green), baseball caps on backwards, basketball shorts to the high ankle, leg warmers and hair bands. Twenty years of hind sight, and we all pretty much agree that they were ridiculous. I feel the same today about CC Sabathia’s uniform (Omar’s tent), baseball players stepping on their pant legs, piercings, tattoos and stenciled eyebrows. Twenty years from now, we shall all agree again.

          • art thiel

            Clearly, you see being ridiculous as some sort of negative.

    • art thiel

      Hmmm. What would Jesus do?

      • Husky73

        Jesus Alou would take a pitch, and then hit to right. The Jesus would clean his ball and roll a strike.