It will be a reunion Monday for left fielder Jarrod Dyson when his former club, the Kansas City Royals, make the short trip down Bell Road for a game against the Mariners at Peoria Stadium.
"It’ll be just me going out there and shaking the guys’ hands," Dyson said. "Haven’t seen some of them in a long time. I’ve got friendships with those guys. Together a long time.
"It’s going to be nice to say, `What’s up?’ to the coaching staff. Just see everybody, man. I’m sure all of those boys are going to make the trip."
Dyson, 32, spent 11 seasons in the Kansas City organization and played on two World Series teams, including the 2015 champions, before coming to the Mariners in a Jan. 6 trade for right-handed pitcher Nathan Karns.
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And Dyson offered a taste in Saturday’s spring opener of what the Mariners are counting on him to provide. The Mariners had just squandered a three-run lead against San Diego when he led off the fifth inning by drawing a walk.
Dyson then stole second base before scoring the go-ahead run when Shawn O’Malley grounded a single through the right side.
"I was over there debating, though," Dyson revealed. "Debating if I’m going to go or not. I was like, `Ah, I don’t think it’s going to be too tough. So I’ll take a chance.’ You know, I’m like Skip (manager Scott Servais). I’m all for winning.
"I don’t care if it’s spring or not. When the starters come out of the game, we want that lead. And when our guys come in for us, we want them to hold the lead and continue to tack on. That’s what they did (Saturday)."
The Mariners went on to a 13-3 victory over the Padres. Dyson had an infield single earlier in the game on a squibber up the third-base line.
"That’s kind of what we’ve talked about," Servais said. "Find a way to get on base with the speed we’ve got. We were aggressive on the bases (on Saturday). We’re going to continue to do so."
It was often a highlight in Royals’ camp in previous years when Dyson would be matched against All-Star catcher Salvy Perez in different drills or the occasional intrasquad game.
Don’t expect any such rematch in Monday’s game, although the verbal jabs are already flying. Royals manager Ned Yost noted, "He’s got to get on first." Perez added: "That’s the first thing. It’s a little hard for him, but we’ll see."
Dyson chirped back in his typical bravado. "We’ll get to see each other at some point. I ain’t going to run on him in spring, anyhow."
Dyson said he and Perez talked about a coming showdown recently during a lighter moment while attending funeral services for Kansas City pitcher Yordano Ventura, who was killed in an auto accident on Jan. 22 in the Dominican Republic.
"I told (Perez) I was going to try him," Dyson said. "And if he gets me, I’m going to tip my hat running off the field. And if I get him, he’d best believe I’m zooming on him. It’s all fun."
The zoom is Dyson’s signature move of pantomiming the revving of a motorcycle. (Dyson’s twitter handle is @mrzoombiya — Mr. Zoom by you.) That’s pure Dyson. Always confident. Never subtle. Loud voice. Booming laugh.
"It’s definitely going to be a quiet clubhouse this year," KC outfielder Lorenzo Cain said. "Quiet plane. Quiet bus rides. But I’m going to miss it, though. Because I’m used to him yelling at everybody or getting on the rookies about something."
That Dyson is just starting to emerge in his new surroundings. For now, he’s feeling his way along and reserving most of his needles for Danny Valencia, whom he knows from Valencia’s time in 2014 with Kansas City.
"Danny’s worried that I’m going to spend that whole year clowning him," Dyson said. "Nah. I’m getting to know the fellas in here. A lot of good guys in here. And you know me. I can’t be quiet around here.
"These guys, they’ve already heard from other people about my personality. I can’t be here being quiet, sitting at my locker with some headphones on. That ain’t me."
IWAKUMA’S SPRING DEBUT
Right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma has been slotted for his spring debut; he is ticketed for two innings on March 3 against Texas in Surprise.
That leaves lefty James Paxton as the only projected member of the rotation who hasn’t yet been scheduled for a Cactus League game.
Right-handers Yovani Gallardo and Felix Hernandez are scheduled for two innings on Monday and Tuesday. Lefty Drew Smyly is scheduled for two innings on Wednesday.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners