PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Valley of the Sun didn’t see much sunshine on Saturday as the Mariners and Padres had their Cactus League opener canceled by rain after the wet stuff fell all morning in the Phoenix area.
Here’s the lineup that had been ticketed for Saturday and will likely be similar to Sunday’s batting order:
New reliever in town
Right-hander Taylor Williams, claimed off waivers from the Brewers on Friday, joined the crowded competition for bullpen spots this spring as he arrived in camp Saturday.
Williams, 28, grew up as a Mariners fan in Camas, Wash., so that helped ease the shock of changing organizations for the first time. Williams, a fourth-round Draft pick of the Brewers in 2013, was regarded as one of their up-and-coming relievers until missing the 2015 and ’16 seasons following Tommy John surgery.
“It’s my first time experiencing anything other than the Brewers, but it’s kind of a whirlwind of emotions,” Williams said. “It was super exciting when I found out the Mariners had claimed me. I couldn’t be more excited to get started.
The reports on Williams are that he has a live arm and a mid-90s fastball but needs to improve his command. He posted a 5.23 ERA in 71 outings for the Brewers over the past three seasons.
Williams put up a 2.83 ERA in 54 innings over 46 appearances for Triple-A San Antonio in 2019 and was recently granted a fourth Minor League option, which means the Mariners could send him down to Triple-A Tacoma without exposing him to waivers, as long as they keep him on the 40-man roster.
Recent free-agent signee Taijuan Walker took “a good step in the right direction” with his first live batting practice session on Friday, according to Servais, as he continues building his arm strength back up after sitting out most of the past two seasons with the D-backs.
The 27-year-old right-hander took a hard comebacker off his leg on one pitch but otherwise emerged healthy.
“I thought he looked pretty good,” Servais said. “Taijuan has changed a few things mechanically. He’s cleaned up his arm stroke, so he’s made some adjustments there. Anytime you make those kind of adjustments, your timing can be off.
“His command was probably not where he wanted it to be. … He did turn up the intensity. He got after it a little bit, certainly after he took one off his shin. That will get your blood boiling, and you could see after that he got locked in pretty good.”
Swanson, who felt some tightness in his back last month, threw well in the bullpen earlier this week and is scheduled for his first live batting practice session on Sunday.
Magill, slowed by some tenderness in his right shoulder, ramped up his throwing program with a good bullpen session on Friday and is moving toward his own live BP session.