Former Mariners Gold Glove second baseman Harold Reynolds was in camp being fitted for a Seattle uniform. It’s no comeback, it’s for a feature Reynolds is shooting for his new employers at ESPN. Reynolds will work out Tuesday and Wednesday and report on what spring is like. Will he face live pitching? “I haven’t faced a pitcher in two years and I’m not going to start now,” he said.
The first of two intrasquad games will be played Tuesday, and by the end of the second game - to be played Wednesday - 25 pitchers will have pitched an inning or so before the first exhibition game of the year is played Thursday.
Though the Mariners’ official position remains that Randy Johnson could be the opening night starter, it is becoming increasingly likely he won’t be ready by April 1. “He’s behind, no question,” manager Lou Piniella said. “We have to move ahead gingerly, because once we get him going we want to keep him going.”
Johnson, who threw 32 pitches Sunday, is scheduled to throw again in the bullpen today. If that goes well, two days later, he might throw batting practice for the first time. If there are no complications, two days after that - March 1 - Johnson could pitch an inning in an exhibition game. “It’s not up to us,” pitching coach Nardi Contreras said. “We’re flexible. When Randy and his doctor and the trainer say he can do something, we’ll do it. But we want him to have at least two more throw days before he gets in a game.”
The Mariners are looking for a reserve catcher to back up Dan Wilson and start as many as 30 to 35 games this season, and the candidates include incumbent John Marzano, left-handed hitting Brent Mayne and switch-hitting Alan Zinter, who hit 26 home runs last year in Class AAA Pawtucket.
Piazza fitted with new mask
Mike Piazza is going with the new trend.
A few days ago, Piazza received the hockey goalie-type catcher’s mask Toronto catcher Charlie O’Brien made famous last year.
Piazza’s helmet is blue with the Dodgers logo printed along the right side and the back.
“It’s kind of cool but I’m just trying it for a little while,” Piazza said. “I haven’t decided anything yet. I won’t know anything until I try it out in a game - see how it protects you.”
Reds name Larkin captain
Barry Larkin was appointed captain of the Reds, the first Cincinnati player to hold the post since Dave Concepcion retired in 1988.
“Barry is the foundation on which this organization is built,” said manager Ray Knight. “The man is a winner, and everything here starts with him.”
Larkin, an eight-time All-Star, grew up in Cincinnati and is starting his 12th season with the Reds. Last year, he became the first shortstop to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases. He has won seven Silver Sluggers and three Gold Gloves.
The St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Padres expect to receive word today that they will play the first major-league regular-season games in Hawaii.
The National League is expected to approve the Padres’ proposal to play a doubleheader April 19 at 50,000-seat Aloha Stadium in Honolulu and an afternoon game April 20, to be broadcast on ESPN.
A’s hand Karsay the ball
Steve Karsay will start for the Athletics in their first exhibition game Friday against Anaheim, yet another sign Oakland is confident the right-hander finally has recovered from serious arm problems.
Karsay, 24, who has not pitched in a regular-season game since April 1994, has spent more than 2 seasons rehabilitating from two operations on his right elbow. He is scheduled to pitch two innings Friday.
Yankees catcher Joe Girardi was hospitalized for several hours Monday with a severe migraine.
New York manager Joe Torre said Girardi, 32, was also dehydrated and nauseated. Girardi was taken from his apartment to St. Joseph’s Hospital by Yankees trainer Gene Monahan, underwent tests and was released.
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