Cruz, who will try to help the Mariners break their 15-year postseason drought in 2017, is highly optimistic about the coming season, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. "I think we're more ready," the 36-year-old designated hitter said. "If you go from Kyle [Seager] to all the young guys that were here, guys that haven't been in the playoffs, the last week and a half last year was very exciting. Every at-bat was important, every pitch was important. But we came up short. So we need to make sure this year we're on top and clinch early."
Schafer, a non-roster invitee to spring training, impressed pitching coach Derek Lilliquist in his first session against hitters Sunday, Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. "It was not advertised as that," said Lilliquist. "He had his breaking ball and his changeup. Very interesting guy."
Gant, acquired in the Dec. 1 trade that sent Jaime Garcia to the Braves, impressed in his first session against hitters Sunday, Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. "Gant has a little sneakier stuff than was advertised," said pitching coach Derek Lilliquist.