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Good morning from sunny Peoria, Arizona where it’s supposed to be hot today! Temps could be in the mid 80s.

Robinson Cano is back in Peoria and the spring training complex today after missing the last five days for his grandfather’s funeral in the Dominican Republic. He will have a full workout today, including condition and take BP, and then start in Saturday’s game against the Diamondbacks in Scottsdale.

“I’m good to go,” he said.

Because of the timing of his grandfather’s funeral, Cano actually took batting practice and ground balls and also worked out on Monday and Tuesday.

“I didn’t just want to sit around at home and start crying with the whole family,” he said. “I wanted to keep my mind busy.”

*** Rickie Weeks (hamstring tightness) will work out today and is expected to be at designated hitter for Saturday’s game.

*** Franklin Gutierrez will not be in games in the next few days. He’s still bothered by tightness in his right groin. He tried to run the bases yesterday, and McClendon said that the groin did not respond well.

*** The competition for the second lefty in the bullpen will really heat up in the next week or so.

“I think in about a week you really start to find out about guys,” McClendon said. “Guys start going back-to-back and they start facing the more veteran hitters throughout. Right now, it’s kind of hard to judge cause guys are in and out and have thrown 3, 4, 5 innings. We’ll see how guys react to throwing one day and getting up the next. You can start really answering those questions.”

Right now, there are four competitors — Tyler Olson, David Rollins, Joe Saunders and Rafael Perez. Rollins is on the roster as a Rule 5 draft pick. The rest are non-roster invites.

Of the four, Olson has been the best thus far. He’s made three appearances and hasn’t allowed a baserunner in five innings pitched and striking out eight batters.

Here’s some video of Olson …

Rollins has been also solid, making four one-inning appearance and not allowing a run. He’s given up two hits and struck out four batters. He has yet to go multiple innings, but McClendon said that will happen in the next few outings. Because he’s a Rule 5 pick, Rollins must make the 25-man roster or be offered back to the Astros. The Mariners could also work out a trade to keep him.

Perez had a shaky first outing, but has been in his last three appearances. He’s allowed one  run on two hits 3 1/3 innings pitched. He has a proven track record as a big leaguer that may help him win the job.

Saunders has looked sub-par in his two appearances, giving up seven runs on seven hits. Any edge he had based on his experience and ability to pitch multiple innings has vanished.

*** McClendon doesn’t have a set day when he’ll decide who the starting shortstop and No. 5 starter are for the opening day roster.

“That could go down to the very end,” McClendon said. “As good as all those guys are, I think it would be an injustice to say we’ve decided with two weeks left. I don’t think that’s fair. We’re going to let them compete to the very end.

*** Asked about the Mariners’ offense and the additions in the offseason, McClendon said: “I think we should be a club that should be capable of scoring 700 runs.”

The Mariners haven’t reached that threshold since 2007.

Linkage

Here’s my story on Jordan Pries and overcoming the distractions of yesterday’s start.

Here’s my story on Will Ferrell’s inning with the Mariners.

Here’s some Ferrell video .

I added some highlights to yesterday’s game recap

Jason Churchill of 1090 the Fan is down here and filed this post on Austin Jackson

 

Game notes