PEORIA, Ariz. -- Jeremy Reed could get a base hit in every at-bat, steal every base he attempts to steal, run down every fly ball hit his way, and he still would be a Mariners reserve on Opening Day. And so, while he had a superb Cactus League game against the visiting Cubs on Monday, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs, a stolen base and making a fine catch in left-center, the die has been cast. Ichiro Suzuki is the Mariners' center fielder. End of discussion.
"I like Jeremy a lot, but it would be my best guess that Jeremy won't play in front of Ichiro," manager Mike Hargrove said. "It's good to see Jeremy do what he did. He swung the bat really well today." Reed did everything well on Monday, but the Mariners ran their winless Cactus League ledger to 0-5 with a 6-5 loss to the Cubs at Peoria Stadium. Four of the losses have been by one run. The dirt on the front of his uniform showed just how active Reed was in the game. "It was good to contribute and have some success again," he said. "This is a very frustrating game, and can sometimes take a toll on you, so it's important to experience success. For me it was today." Reed drove a Mark Prior pitch off the blue monster in straightaway center field for a two-run double in the second inning, stole third and scored, reached on a drag-bunt single in the fourth, lined out hard to left field in the sixth and walked in the eighth inning. "He and [hitting coach] Jeff Pentland have been working really hard here and they made a couple of adjustments today in batting practice," Hargrove said. "Hopefully, it's something he can take forward." As much as he would like to be an everyday player for the Mariners, or any Major League team for that matter, Reed has been a good soldier since Ichiro went from right to center field last season. It isn't Reed's nature to complain. "I have been pretty calm about a lot of things that have occurred," he said. "I think I have to contribute to how I was raised and give them credit. You can look at things so many different ways and it isn't going to make a difference. "At this point of my career, I have to take it for what it is, do my best and hope for any opportunity I can to contribute." Monday was one of those days.
About time for a "W": The Spring Training record means little, but a string of losses never is a good thing."We're 0-5 and that never looks good," Hargrove said. "I don't want to minimize the fact that we've lost five games, four of them by one run. But the fact is that the last couple of days, our pitching has let us down. "We'll get it together and the good thing is, everybody is getting their swings and having good at-bats. Defensively we're playing well. It's still really, really early." Alumni Day: Former Mariners Jay Buhner, Norm Charlton and Dan Wilson, who were instrumental in the franchise's glory years from 1995-2001, were back in uniform on Monday. "That should liven things up," Hargrove said. This is the second wave of former Mariners invited to Spring Training. Earlier, Edgar Martinez spent three days in camp, sharing his wisdom gathered over 18 seasons with the organization. "We try to bring these guys in, not so much to bring back old memories and revisit the past as much as to build new memories here," Hargrove said. "They are here to help, not to be, as Jay put it, 'eye-wash.' "They are here to work." One of Wilson's "jobs" was to exchange lineups at home plate prior to Monday's game. The visiting Cubs were represented by former Mariners player and coach Matt Sinatro. More memories: Cubs manager Lou Piniella visited Peoria Stadium for the first time since 2002, his final year of a memorable 10-year run as Seattle's manager. After a 20-minute media session in front of the visiting (right-field) dugout, Piniella and Sinatro exchanged greetings with Ichiro. They chatted for nearly 10 minutes. Ichiro's first MLB season was 2001 when he helped the Mariners win a record-tying 116 games, capturing AL Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player honors. Notes: Second baseman Jose Lopez could make his Cactus League debut in Wednesday's home game against the Giants. Lopez has been sidelined all spring with a sprained ankle suffered in Winter Ball. Catcher Jeff Clement, idled by a bruised finger suffered while catching a batting practice session early in camp, is slated to play in Wednesday morning's B game against the Padres. And pitcher Aaron Small is still bothered by back spasms. ... Left fielder Raul Ibanez, who felt a crack in his right shoulder on a check-swing strikeout on Sunday, was a little sore Monday but said, "I'm OK. It was like a 'zinger.' I was more upset about even thinking about swinging at that pitch." ... A similar check-swing by Richie Sexson three years ago sent the slugger to the disabled list for most of the season. ... DH Jose Vidro was a late lineup scratch because of the flu. ... The line-drive triple play Michael Garciparra hit into Sunday afternoon in Tucson was the first of his life, but he played in two games last season that saw his team turn triple plays -- both started by popped up sacrifice bunt attempts.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.