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Mariners ready to look at rookies in 2020

@gregjohnsmlb
January 22, 2020

SEATTLE -- As the calendar clicks off the final days of the decade, what better time to look ahead to 2020 and what lies ahead for the Mariners? Here are some key dates and issues to note as we prepare for the New Year. When do pitchers and catchers report?

SEATTLE -- As the calendar clicks off the final days of the decade, what better time to look ahead to 2020 and what lies ahead for the Mariners?

Here are some key dates and issues to note as we prepare for the New Year.

When do pitchers and catchers report?
Though many of the players will already be in Peoria, Ariz., working out in preparation for Spring Training, the official report date for pitchers and catchers is Wednesday, Feb. 12. That’s when they’ll take their physicals and be cleared to hit the practice field all together on Feb. 13. Position players must report by Monday, Feb. 17, with the first full-squad workout set for Feb. 18.

Let the games begin
The Mariners’ first Cactus League game is Saturday, Feb. 22, at 12:10 p.m. PT (1:10 p.m. local time) against the Padres. Seattle will officially be the road team in that contest against its Peoria Sports Complex partners, but its first three Cactus League games are all at Peoria Stadium, with the Rangers coming in on Feb. 23 and the Cubs on the 24th to open the 33-game spring slate.

How about the regular season?
For just the third time in the past 12 years, the Mariners will open their regular season in Seattle, as they host the American League West rival Rangers on Thursday, March 26, in a 1:10 p.m. PT game at T-Mobile Park. The Mariners open with a four-game set against Texas and three games against Minnesota before traveling to Kansas City on April 2.

What can fans expect before then?
Because of the Enchant Christmas festival that took over T-Mobile Park in December, the Mariners aren’t holding a FanFest this year, as they need to let the turf recover in time for the regular season. The Mariners Care Community Tour, with various players, broadcasters and the Moose traveling around Washington, started on Jan. 6 in Yakima, with further public appearances and autograph sessions in Wenatchee, Walla Walla, Pasco, Longview, Mt. Vernon, Lacey and Tukwila through Jan. 24.

More information on all the Mariners Care Community Tour events is available at Mariners.com/CommunityTour.

Biggest remaining needs?
General manager Jerry Dipoto has made the most of his offseason changes already, having kept to his word of staying relatively low key in terms of roster churn this winter. The Mariners are intent on giving a number of their promising young prospects the chance to show what they can do and develop in 2020, so Dipoto has focused primarily on adding pitching depth.

It’s likely Seattle will sign at least one more experienced reliever and a potential starter or swing man in free agency, as well as some non-roster invitees on Minor League deals to provide further depth.

But for the most part, this coming season will be about first baseman Evan White, second baseman Shed Long, left fielder Kyle Lewis, and starting pitchers Justus Sheffield and Justin Dunn getting full-time opportunities while top prospects Jarred Kelenic, Julio Rodriguez, Logan Gilbert and Cal Raleigh continue their progress up the ladder with an eye toward potentially joining the big league club later in the season.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.