M's Snow Learning From Vets
PEORIA, Ariz. — It's a good spring to be Forrest Snow.
He's in a major league camp for the first time with the Mariners. And Seattle isn't just any team for Snow. The Mariners are the team he grew up with while at Seattle's Lakeside High and the University of Washington.
He's had a chance to sit with a couple of the Mariners' veterans, Felix Hernandez and Kevin Millwood, and pick their brains about the best way for him to continue his accelerated progress through the system.
"They both have basically said it's the same game regardless of where you are pitching," Snow said. "They told me not to change my approach whether I'm pitching in big stadiums or on small back fields."
Snow, a 36th-round pick in the 2010 draft, rocketed through the Seattle system. He started 2011 at low Class A, made a six-start stop in high Class A High Desert before finishing the regular season with Triple-A Tacoma. He went a combined 5-12, 5.09 with 127 strikeouts and 42 walks in 143 innings. Seattle sent him to the Arizona Fall League and all he did there was lead the league in ERA at 1.10.
A starter for most of his career, the 23-year-old Snow is a long shot to make the Seattle roster as a reliever, but the Mariners see him helping them out sooner rather than later.
Toward that end, and incorporating advice from Hernandez and Millwood, Snow came to spring training with a specific plan. "I want to work on getting the breaking ball a little more consistent," Snow said.
Snow's fastball touches 94 mph and he has the kind of control that portends good things. He walked just 2.64 batters per nine innings during the minor league season last year.
• Third baseman Alex Liddi is being used at different positions this spring, including the outfield.
• Outfielder Michael Saunders was swinging a 60-ounce bat in warmups before switching to a conventional bat. He says it forces him to use his lower half during his swings.