M's notebook: Vanishing act this season fitting for Spiezio
If this season was just about his looks, Scott Spiezio figures it couldn't have gone any better. In the last year, the Mariners veteran...
Seattle Times staff reporter
If this season was just about his looks, Scott Spiezio figures it couldn't have gone any better.
In the last year, the Mariners veteran has eliminated most of the junk food and sugar from his diet, shed about 12 pounds and dropped his body-fat percentage from 14.5 to eight.
"I'm in the best shape of my life, as far as my physique," Spiezio said before last night's game against Detroit at Safeco Field. "It's something I never thought I could do."
Mentally, however, it's been a completely different story.
"I'm just worn down," he said. "The athlete inside of me wants to play so bad. It's literally, I feel like my baseball career is dying as we're sitting here."
The 32-year-old switch-hitter is mired in a season-long slump, with just two hits in 26 at-bats — a miserable .077 average.
With the trade deadline looming and no regular playing time in sight, Spiezio said he's asked the team to shop him.
"I like this team and this city, but it's just not gonna happen here," he said, also noting the monster contracts the Mariners have invested in the positions where he's most comfortable, first and third base. "I've come to realize that, and it's hard coming to the park every day.
"You try to prepare yourself for a possible one at-bat against the closer. It's the hardest thing I've ever done as a baseball player."
Coming off a productive 2003 season for the Angels, Spiezio figured he'd roll into the prime of his career in Seattle. He happily signed before the 2004 season for $9 million over three years to be the everyday third baseman.
But a nagging back injury last year was just the beginning of his troubles in Seattle.
Taiwanese player signs
The Mariners announced they have signed Kuo-Hui Lo, a teenage center fielder from Taiwan.
Lo, 19, played this spring for Taipei Physical Education College, leading the Senior League "A" Division with a .363 batting average. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder had a .625 slugging percentage.
Lo was a member of the Chinese Taipei National Team during the World University Baseball Championships in 2004. He is the fourth Taiwanese player signed by the Mariners.
Phillies scout Pineiro
Among the scouts at Safeco Field was Del Unser of the Philadelphia Phillies, believed to be checking out Mariners right-hander Joel Pineiro as a possible trade acquisition.
Pineiro, 3-6 with a 5.77 earned-run average, gave up 10 hits and four runs in 5-1/3 innings Tuesday, but his velocity was improved and manager Mike Hargrove praised his stuff.
The Phillies, 5 ½ games out of first place in the NL East, could be in the market for a starting pitcher. With Randy Wolf on the disabled list, they have no left-handers in their rotation, raising speculation about possible interest in Jamie Moyer, as well.
Moyer, who has full trade-veto rights, grew up in Pennsylvania and was pursued by the Phillies two years ago when he was a free agent.
Shortstop Mike Morse was back in the lineup, batting seventh. The rookie played Sunday against Cleveland but missed the next two games with what he described as a "really bad head cold."
Michael Ko: 206-515-5653 or email@example.com
Larry Stone of the Seattle Times staff and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.