Vogelbach hits 7th HR of spring; Ichiro plays seven innings in finale

posted by Curtis Crabtree - 

Seattle Mariners v San Francisco Giants

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Daniel Vogelbach hit his seventh home run of spring training - a three-run shot off Rockies reliever Matt Pierpont in the eighth inning - to give Seattle a 5-2 lead.

"Vogelbomb ended his spring the right way," manager Scott Servais said. "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.

Vogelbach's .407 average during the spring and seven home runs helped earn him a spot on the team's 25-man roster as the team heads to Seattle to start the season. Vogelbach saw significant playing time this spring as Ryon Healy missed time recovering from surgery to remove a bone spur from his hand at the start of camp.

"He'll get a few starts early in the season and hopefully he stays hot," Servais said. "The defense has been much better, the at-bats, the approach at the plate. He's a different guy."

Vogelbach played in 22 total Cactus League games and posted an OPS of 1.455 with seven home runs, seven doubles, 13 walks and 15 RBIs. The Mariners always felt Vogelbach could hit. It's why they acquired him from the Chicago Cubs in a trade for Mike Montgomery two seasons ago.

Ichiro plays seven innings as status remains uncertain for Opening Day:

Ichiro Suzuki played seven innings in the field for the Mariners on Tuesday in the team's Cactus League finale against the Colorado Rockies.

Suzuki, who had been limited to just one Cactus League game in the last two weeks due to a calf strain, went 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout. For the spring, Suzuki appeared in five games, going 0-for-10 from the plate with two walks, five strikeouts and a run scored.

"I don't think he quite at 100 percent yet but he's moving much better. He feels better out there. We'll see how he feels tomorrow and make a decision from there," Servais said following the game.

The uncertainty regarding Suzuki's availability presents the lone remaining roster question for the team as spring training comes to a close. The Mariners optioned Kirk Nieuwenhuis to minor league camp prior to Tuesday's game, leaving only Taylor Motter as a potential backup option for the 25-man roster for Thursday's opener against the Cleveland Indians.

The Mariners don't need to have a final 25-man roster in place for the start of the season until 9 a.m. on Thursday, which will give them the flexibility to see where Suzuki is with his calf before needing to submit the final roster to the league.

"We need to make sure he can move around and there's nothing he's guarding against in left field, being able to cover the ground he needs to get to out there," manager Scott Servais said.

The move of Nieuwenhuis leaves the team with 30 players on the major league roster. Four of those are headed for the disabled list: Hisashi Iwakuma, Erasmo Ramirez, David Phelps and Ben Gamel. If Suzuki isn't healthy for Thursday's opener, he'll join them on the disabled list. If he's ready to go, Motter will be optioned to Triple-A Tacoma.

Mariners add OF Jayson Werth on minor league deal:

The Mariners are reportedly signing outfielder Jayson Werth to a minor league contract.

Werth missed half of last season due to a broken foot and has not been with a team during spring training. He's expected to remain in Peoria for extended spring training before potentially joining the Tacoma Rainiers in Triple-A if all goes well.

"Jerry (Dipoto) mentioned it me about a week ago," Servais said. "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."


Photo Credit: SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 09: Daniel Vogelbach #20 of the Seattle Mariners is congratulated by third base coach Scott Brosius #28 after hitting a solo home run in the third inning of the spring training game against the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium on March 9, 2018 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

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