Indians, Mariners battle to a draw
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Seattle’s Michael Pineda and Cleveland’s Lonnie Chisenhall, two rookies with bright futures, look good under the glaring Arizona sun.
Pineda allowed his first two runs of the spring in his bid for a rotation spot and still got a glowing report from pitching coach Carl Willis following a 5-5 tie with the Indians in a game called after 10 innings on Friday.
“He looked good again,” Willis said of the right-handed Pineda, who struck out three over three innings.
“He got into a little bit of a rush, which caused him to leave the ball up in the zone and get hit,” Willis said. “But he stayed with it and didn’t get all flustered. He’s got a big fastball, a good feel for the change and he’s still in the mix. We’ve got some decisions to make.”
Last year, Pineda went 8-1 with a 2.22 ERA in Double-A, then 3-3 in 12 starts at Triple-A at age 21.
The big right-hander helped cool off Chisenhall, a 22-year-old trying to win Cleveland’s third base job. Chisenhall came in hitting .524, but struck out in the second against Pineda and again in the fourth against veteran Nate Robertson.
Those two at-bats won’t decide whether or not the 2008 first-round pick goes to Cleveland or back to the minors. Neither will his early surge, according to general manager Chris Antonetti.
“Lonnie has had a very good camp,” Antonetti said, “But we are mindful of his entire body of work, what our scouts tell us and we don’t base decisions on just 25 at-bats here. That outlook can change, but it is based upon much more than just getting hits.”
Chisenhall hopes to force manager Manny Acta into a tough decision. Former shortstop Jason Donald has the inside track on the starting job with veteran Jack Hannahan and Chisenhall making runs at it.
Hannahan played first base against the Mariners, had two hits, scored twice, and made a fine diving stop of a hard-hit grounder. Signed to a minor-league contract, Hannahan is hitting .400.
“I’m trying to gauge where everybody is actually at,” Acta said. “There’s still 20 days to go here. I can say, ‘Hey, if anything happens or with a little bit of polishing, this guy can come up and contribute.’ That’s what I want to do with some of the highly touted guys.”
Josh Wilson had two RBIs and Matt Tuiasosopo two hits for Seattle. Adam Everett and Austin Kearns joined Hannahan with two hits for Cleveland, which got a solo homer from Asdrubal Cabrera.
Cleveland’s Mitch Talbot gave up five hits and two earned runs over three innings. That lowered his ERA to 17.55 after three starts.
NOTES: Mariners rookie OF Johermyn Chavez was hit by a pitch three times. … Seattle has eight players along with manager Eric Wedge and coaches Willis, Jeff Datz and Robby Thompson who were recently with Cleveland. … Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry, an ex-Indian and ex-Mariner, signed autographs with benefits going to the Bob Feller Museum in Iowa. … In the morning, Indians RHP Anthony Reyes, rehabbing from elbow surgery, threw 31 pitches to OF Grady Sizemore, recovering from knee surgery. Sizemore put two in play, missed two, and fouled off six. Both reported feeling fine. … Cleveland sent eight to the minors including 2010 first-round pick, LHP Drew Pomeranz, and signed C Carlos Santana and RHPs Jeanmar Gomez and Josh Tomlin for 2011.
Updated March 11, 2011