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Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Chris Iannetta has several stitches in his upper lip, plus a couple of fractured teeth and a broken nose after getting hit in the face by a fastball.
While attention throughout Marinerland focused this week on rookie Edwin Diaz replacing veteran Steve Cishek as the club’s closer, a much quieter changing of the guard is taking place behind the plate.
Taijuan Walker returned to his early season form throwing eight innings and tied a career-high with 11 strikeouts, and Chris Iannetta provided the offense with two home runs in the Seattle Mariners’ 5-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night.
Any assessment of the Mariners at this point comes with the disclaimer heading of “small sample size.” That includes veteran catcher Chris Iannetta and his .276 average.
One of the game’s nuances is getting extra treatment this spring in Mariners’ camp: pitch framing by catchers. And it’s not just because new manager Scott Servais is a former catcher.
No area of the Mariners’ roster got a more complete offseason makeover than behind the plate. And none needed it more.