Dipoto excited by early turnout at camp

Cano among 12 position players arriving ahead of schedule

February 20th, 2016

PEORIA, Ariz. -- With the exception of injured catcher Jesus Sucre, all 34 healthy pitchers and catchers expected at Mariners camp reported for physicals on Friday and will be on the field for the first workout under new manager Scott Servais on Saturday morning, general manager Jerry Dipoto said.
The one surprise Friday was the early arrival of second baseman Robinson Cano, who didn't have to show up until position players are due on Tuesday. Of the 23 position players expected, 12 are already at the facility and working out, which Dipoto takes as a welcome sign for a group that has a large number of newcomers after his busy offseason.
"We were expecting Robbie closer to the 23rd or 24th, so the fact he showed up is great," Dipoto said. "Most of the players that have been in are very excited about what we're doing and want to get a chance to meet their teammates, which I think is part of the reason why our group is 58.
"I don't think you need 70. Being that there's been so much change, I think keeping a smaller group together for a longer period of time this spring gives us a chance to let these guys bind."
Spring Training:Schedule | Tickets
Servais will meet with pitchers and catchers as a group at 9 a.m. MT on Saturday, and the team will be on the field from about 10 a.m. to noon.
"I've been anticipating tomorrow since the day I started," Dipoto said. "I'm really looking forward to getting out there. I love the first day of Spring Training. I like watching the players run around and do what they do. I'm always disappointed when they take it in for lunch because it's such a short day. But I remember enjoying that part of it when I was doing it.
"I'm looking forward to it and I'm excited. And I know Scott and his staff are excited. We've just finished two days of organizational meetings here in Peoria and had a really good time. We got a lot done, and now I'm looking forward to seeing the players run around. It'll be great."
Worth noting
• Sucre was on crutches in the clubhouse as he rehabs the right ankle he broke last month on a cleat mishap sliding into second base in a Venezuelan League game. Dipoto said Sucre will likely go on the 60-day disabled list as soon as the Mariners need a 40-man roster spot and expects him to miss the full season, but Sucre isn't giving up on 2016 quite yet.
"They're talking about six months, so we'll see," said the 27-year-old catcher. "I hope I can get back this year and play a couple games."
• First baseman Dae-Ho Lee has lost nearly 50 pounds from his playing weight in Japan last year, according to Dipoto. The Mariners listed the big slugger from Korea at 6-foot-4, 250 pounds as he reports to camp on a Minor League deal to compete with Jesus Montero, Gaby Sanchez and Stefen Romero for the backup job to Adam Lind.
"He turned down pretty substantial financial offers from both Korean and Japanese teams," Dipoto said. "He wants to be here. He wanted to show he belongs in the big leagues. He shed quite a few pounds to become a little more flexible and more convincing as a defensive first baseman."
• Along with Cano and Lee, other position players already working out in camp are infielders Kyle Seager, Chris Taylor, Jesus Montero, Shawn O'Malley, Ed Lucas, Lind and Sanchez, as well as outfielders Boog Powell, Mike Baxter and Romero, who will be given a shot at first base as well.
• Pitching ace Felix Hernandez arrived for his physical sporting blonde-dyed hair on the top of his head as well as a 3-inch reddish goatee. Hernandez said he was looking to do something different and, yes, he intends to keep the new look.