Trying to follow a rule: Every team is supposed to have at least four regular players in its lineup for a Spring Training game, but that can be a tough task in split-squad doubleheaders.The Mariners sent one team to Tucson and another to Scottsdale on Sunday and deciding who would go where presented Hargrove with a challenge.
"You have to ask for indulgence from the other team," Hargrove said. "You try to have a minimum of four, but with the injuries we have, it was difficult."Second baseman Jose Lopez remains sidelined with a sprained ankle, although he could be ready to see his first Cactus League action on Wednesday. Catcher Jeff Clement has an injured finger; infielder Oswaldo Navarro has been slowed by a sprained knee suffered in winter ball and Minor League infielder Matt Tuiasosopo spent the past few days away from camp to attend the wedding of his brother. Six of the projected Opening Day starters were in Scottsdale to face the Giants while two likely starters -- catcher Kenji Johjima and designated hitter Jose Vidro -- went to Tucson to face the Diamondbacks. Hargrove said a couple of players he originally had pegged for Tucson duty ended up going to Scottsdale instead because of personal reasons -- picking up or dropping off family at the airport. "It's one of those things that when you let them do that, everything is cool and if you don't let them do it, it's a burr under the saddle for a long time," Hargrove said. "A needless burr." Notes: Aaron Small's back has improved but he is expected to be out for three or four more days. ... The first round of roster cuts could occur by the end of the week. There currently are 61 players in camp. The first full-scale Minor League workout is Saturday. ... The 1-0 loss Saturday was Seattle's first by that score in Spring Training since March 23, 1986, against the Giants. ... Left fielder Raul Ibanez tweaked a shoulder on a check-swing in the sixth inning, but Hargrove said he didn't think it was anything serious.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.