Grant Balfour (dead-arm), Joel Peralta (neck), and Alex Cobb will pitch in a minor league game on Wednesday.
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Balfour complained after Saturday's rough outing against the Pirates that he's going through a "dead-arm period." Peralta, meanwhile, has been dealing with neck stiffness since his appearance on the same day. Neither seems overly concerned with their minor maladies. Cobb, a projected top-10 AL-only hurler, will join them on the mound in the exhibition.
Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said Monday that Justin Smoak is the team's starting first baseman.
Tacoma News Tribune
McClendon held court in his office Monday with the media and counted off a short list of roster certainties, all of which were expected except, perhaps, for the last item. "The No. 3 hitter, Cano," McClendon said. "The No. 1 starter, Felix. Our third baseman is Seager. My catcher is Zunino, and my first baseman is Smoak." Winter acquisitions Corey Hart and Logan Morrison were expected to compete with Smoak for playing time this spring. McClendon acknowledged that "other guys [will] play first," but apparently Smoak didn't experience the resistance that most had anticipated.
Jonathan Schoop has turned heads with a 9-for-17 (.529) start in Grapefruit League play and is considered a live 'dog in Baltimore's open second base competition.
Included in the tally above is four extra-base hits and five RBIs. It's the type of performance the 22-year-old needed in an attempt to leapfrog Ryan Flaherty and Jemile Weeks for the second-base gig, which his skipper acknowledged when asked if Schoop's performance would make his Opening Day lineup decision more difficult. "Might be continuing to make an easy decision," said Buck Showalter, who reminded assembled media that all three still have options remaining. "There's a lot of ways to look at that. I told you before, we came in here with that completely wide open there. Still is."