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Heredia's bat shows no signs of cooling

MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Cuban outfielder Guillermo Heredia is making the Mariners sit up and take notice in the early going this spring, and he continued swinging a hot bat in Tuesday's 8-1 win over the White Sox.

The 26-year-old, who spent most of last season in Triple-A in his first year in the U.S., tripled and scored on an error in the second inning and finished 2-for-3 with a pair of runs. He's 5-for-9 with three doubles, a triple, four runs and four RBIs in four games this spring.

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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Cuban outfielder Guillermo Heredia is making the Mariners sit up and take notice in the early going this spring, and he continued swinging a hot bat in Tuesday's 8-1 win over the White Sox.

The 26-year-old, who spent most of last season in Triple-A in his first year in the U.S., tripled and scored on an error in the second inning and finished 2-for-3 with a pair of runs. He's 5-for-9 with three doubles, a triple, four runs and four RBIs in four games this spring.

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"He's swinging the bat great," manager Scott Servais said. "His swing has gotten a lot shorter than what we saw last year, and he's gotten a little stronger, too. He's got a lot of confidence right now, and good for him. He worked his tail off this offseason, and he's getting some results."

Rotation plans

Left-hander Drew Smyly will make his Mariners debut on Wednesday against the Indians in Goodyear, leaving Hisashi Iwakuma and James Paxton as the only starters yet to make Cactus League appearances.

Iwakuma and Paxton are being brought along a little slower since they're not pitching in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Smyly, acquired from the Rays this winter, could be added to Team USA in the second or third rounds, while Felix Hernandez (Venezuela) and Yovani Gallardo (Mexico) will leave next week to join their teams.

Iwakuma will start on Friday against the Rangers; Paxton is slated to pitch two innings in relief after Gallardo makes his second start of the spring on Saturday against the Rockies.

Servais said that Paxton is fully healthy and that his slower schedule is strictly a function of getting him ready for the long haul.

"It is a longer Spring Training, and he's not leaving to pitch for Team Canada or anything, and that's something we're good with," Servais said. "He's got time to get ready, and [pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr.] has a target number of innings for these guys and is lining them up accordingly. It's all about where he's at on April 3."

Worth noting

• Heavy rain forced the Mariners to limit Tuesday's morning work at their facility, with hitters batting in the cages and pitchers doing light throwing. But the forecast looks better going forward, with temperatures back in the upper 70s and 80s starting Thursday.

• Infielder D.J. Peterson is slowed by a sore leg and could miss a day or two, but the rest of the players in camp haven't had any health issues to date.

• Traveling secretary Ron Spellecy worked his final day with the club on Tuesday, as he's retiring after 20 years. He'll be replaced by Jack Mosimann, who had been working as the director of Major League operations.

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

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