Notes: Mariners trim down roster

Notes: Mariners trim down roster

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mariners bench coach John McLaren has been the bearer of bad news for several years and it never gets easier.

When a player becomes a roster casualty during Spring Training, Mac's usually the one that initiates a one-sided conversation that leads to a long walk from the clubhouse locker to the manager's office.

"It's not a fun time," McLaren said on Friday. "Most of the guys probably knew it was coming, but it's still tough to tell them, 'Skip wants to see you.'"

The Mariners on Friday made their second significant cut of this camp. Seven players went to the Minor Leagues: catchers Jeff Clement and Rob Johnson, infielders Michael Garciaparra, Bryan LaHair and Oswaldo Navarro and outfielders Michael Wilson and Wladimir Balentien.

The cuts leave the Mariners with 43 players in camp, including 11 non-roster invitees. To make room for a non-roster player on the 25-man Opening Day roster, the organization must remove someone from the 40-man roster.

McLaren threw a changeup at one of Friday's roster cuts, telling him to, "Report to the principal's office."

Good vibes: Among the players sent out, Hargrove said first baseman LaHair and catchers Clement and Johnson drew the most attention.

LaHair went 12-for-31 during his first big-league camp.

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"He's just not ready and there isn't a spot here for him," Hargrove said. "But that's a good situation. The fact we have someone here that's better gives us the luxury of sending him down to let him get experience so that he's a better player when he comes back."

Hargrove said he tells every young player attending his first Major League camp: "If there is one thing they want to accomplish in their first Spring Training is to impress the right people. [LaHair] has done that and we've had a few people do that."

Tidbits: Catcher Kenji Johjima apparently needs a lot of work on his throwing technique. For at least the third time this spring, Johjima made a side-arm throw to second base that sailed into the runner, risking injury to the intended defensive target, in this case second baseman Jose Lopez. He had to lunge for Johjima's throw, which arrived on the first-base side of the base. Lopez's left arm collided with runner Joey Gathright. After shaking it off, Lopez remained in the game. ... Seattle shortstops have hit four of the 10 home runs the Mariners have belted this spring. Yuniesky Betancourt has two while Rey Ordonez and Gookie Dawkins have one each. ... Willie Bloomquist extended his hitting streak to seven games and went 4-for-4 in Friday's win over the Royals. He is batting .500 (17-for-34) this spring.

Up next: The Mariners attempt to improve their Cactus League record against American League West opponents to 4-0 on Saturday with a game against the Rangers at Peoria Stadium at 1:05 p.m. PT. Left-hander Horacio Ramirez takes a 0.00 ERA into the tilt and is scheduled to go five or six innings, depending on his pitch count.

Jim Street is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.