Furbush feeling good as Mariners play it safe

Bloomquist retires; Sardinas, Heredia could see action Saturday

March 11th, 2016

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Mariners continue to play things cautiously with left-handed reliever Charlie Furbush as the 29-year-old isn't slated for Cactus League action yet while he works his way back from shoulder issues that put him on the disabled list for the final three months last season.
Manager Scott Servais said Furbush hasn't had any setbacks this camp, but the club is taking the careful approach after already seeing two right-handed relievers -- Evan Scribner and Ryan Cook -- sidelined by strained lat muscles.
"Charlie feels good," Servais said before Friday's 5-4 Mariners victory over the Giants. "He'll play catch today and we'll see where he goes from there. I think we're looking at another live session on the Minor League side before he comes into a game. But everything is fine."
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A healthy Furbush would be a critical part of the Mariners' bullpen plans as their lefty setup man. He posted a 2.08 ERA in 33 games in 2015 and held left-handed hitters to a .105 batting average (4-for-38). Opposing hitters were just 1-for-18 against him with runners in scoring position, and he didn't allow any of his 16 inherited runners to score.
The only other left-handed relievers in camp are returnees Vidal Nuno and David Rollins and rookie Paul Fry. Starting candidate Mike Montgomery could be an option, but that may also be an area where general manager Jerry Dipoto looks to add as other teams make moves later in camp.
• Former Mariner Willie Bloomquist announced his retirement Friday. Bloomquist, 38, had left the door open to playing somewhere this year in the right situation, but let it be known on Twitter that his 14-year career is now officially over.

The native of Port Orchard, Wash., was released by the Mariners on July 6 of last season and hasn't played since. Bloomquist began and ended his career with the Mariners, spending nine of his seasons with Seattle and batting .259 in 622 games. He also played for the D-backs, Royals and Reds and took the field in every defensive position except catcher.
• Utility infielder Luis Sardinas was held out Friday due to some cramping in his left calf, but is expected to be fine to play by Saturday.
• Cuban outfielder Guillermo Heredia could see his first game action Saturday. The 23-year-old sprained his ankle sliding into second during a Minor League scrimmage last week.
• With Scribner and Cook not expected to be ready anytime soon, Servais said again that veteran non-roster invitee Joel Peralta is one right-hander who has caught his eye. He also noted that Mayckol Guiape has improved after a rough initial outing. "I like where he's at."
• Servais said the first-base competition has been interesting to watch and he expects a tough decision there in finding a right-handed partner for Adam Lind.
"It's very deep. We're playing a lot of different guys over there," he said Friday. "[Dae-Ho] Lee's in there today. I believe [Stefen] Romero will be at first in one of the split-squad games tomorrow. [Jesus] Montero swung the bat yesterday, got a couple of big hits. Adam Lind does what Adam Lind does. We're starting to see his bat come alive. We want those to be hard decisions and I think they will be as we keep moving along."