by Trenton Curtis – Staff Reporter
All across warm and sunny Arizona, several Major League Baseball teams are getting their rosters together to perform drills and practices along with scrimmage games against other teams. Yes, MLB Spring Training is now upon us.
With the Mariners’ pitchers and catchers having reported on the 14th and position players reporting on the 18th Spring Training has started. There definitely is a lot to sort out for the 2017 Mariners. General Manager Jerry Dipoto has been very busy this offseason with several signings and trades, such as the addition of starting pitchers Yovani Gallardo and Drew Smyly. Other notable additions to the Mariners offense were outfielder Jarrod Dyson as well as infielders Danny Valencia and Jean Segura.
Since several of these players were traded, the Mariners also lost a few somewhat notable players. Fan favorite outfielder Seth Smith and young, talented starting pitcher Taijuan Walker were arguably the two most important players we traded away during the offseason but hopefully the new additons will outweigh the players we lost. With that said, the additions that Dipoto made were well-needed ones. Starting pitching was easily one of the Mariners biggest downfall last season and it was good to see two solid starters added to the rotation. Also, Jarrod Dyson and Jean Segura are very fast players which will have a large increase on the Mariners base running and stealing capabilities.
Going back to Spring Training, the scrimmage games are essentially the MLB’s version of a pre-season. The games’ primary purpose is for a team to determine if their prospects are good enough to move up in the minor leagues or even to a team’s roster. Spring Training games are also used to see how a starting roster works, and allows managers to mix and match batting lineups as well as starting players.
As a fan of any MLB team, Spring Training is one of the best baseball events to experience. The generally smaller fan turnouts and smaller fields mean that you are closer to the players than ever before. There are many opportunities for autographs and even talking to your favorite player at the games. That, alongside with the lovely Arizona weather are two great excuses to go down to Arizona to get some well needed, extra baseball in any MLB fan’s life.