Come Friday, my Intrepid Lady and I will be touching down in Phoenix shortly after the Mariners open their Cactus League schedule with the Oakland A’s. I will be joining two very good friends in attending game two vs the A’s on Saturday and Sunday’s charity game vs the rival Padres before flying back on Monday.
Scheduled starters are Hector Noesi and Jason Vargas. I for one am very excited to see what Noesi can do. After the Pineda/Montero trade, I went back and watched some of his appearances last year with the Yankees and was decently impressed by his mid 90s fastball and secondary offerings. His control stood out as well as his height. Watching Doug Fister grow into himself over the past few seasons has impacted my view of what a successful young pitcher looks like. If all goes well, Noesi could make it real easy to get past Fister’s departure.
Past the myriad of pitchers that we will see, I hope to see some of the exciting young offensive talents on display. I have already seen Ackley and Smoak in person, but look forward to seeing newcomer Jesus Montero and minor league prospects Carlos Triunfel, Vinnie Catricala, Alex Liddi, and of course Nick Franklin. Sadly, James Paxton, Taijuan Walker, and Danny Hultzen don’t figure to make appearances while I am around.