5 things to know about Mariners going into camp

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 13, 2014 at 4:08 pm •  Published: February 13, 2014
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SEATTLE (AP) — Five things to know about the Seattle Mariners as they start spring training camp:

IN CHARGE: It's been nine years since Lloyd McClendon was last a major league manager — in Pittsburgh. Since then he spent eight seasons working under Jim Leyland in Detroit. Leyland was one of the biggest proponents for McClendon deserving another shot at the helm.

One of his challenges during the spring will be meshing players left over from the previous staff under Eric Wedge with the bevy of moves Seattle made in the offseason. McClendon is optimistic Seattle can win sooner than later, but with the moves made and the money spent this offseason the winning had better arrive on the earlier side.

HELLO, CANO: Robinson Cano was given $240 million and the responsibility for shouldering the Mariners for potentially the next 10 years. He is out of the spotlight in New York, but has taken on a new challenge of being the centerpiece in Seattle. When he was with the Yankees, he was constantly surrounded by stars. In Seattle, Cano is THE star.

The first steps into that role start will be taken during spring training, when the Mariners are expected to garner some of the biggest buzz in Arizona because of Cano's signing.

OUTFIELD SHAKEDOWN: There is nothing certain about how the outfield spots will breakdown as the Mariners enter camp. The perfect scenario for Seattle would likely see Corey Hart and Logan Morrison healthy and productive enough to handle the corner spots. Also, hope is Franklin Gutierrez finally avoids the disabled list and returns to his former Gold Glove level in center field. But Hart and Morrison both have had knee troubles that have limited their playing time. Gutierrez has struggled through an assortment of injuries and has not played more than 92 games in a season since 2010. Hart is also a legitimate option as a full-time designated hitter.

Behind those three is an assortment of others looking to find a place in Seattle's lineup. Dustin Ackley, Michael Saunders, Abraham Almonte and Willie Bloomquist could all end up as options in the outfield coming out of spring.