A more comfortable Guillermo Heredia is ready to grab a spot on the Mariners’ opening day roster

No longer the unsure kid that arrived to the Mariners complex a year ago, Heredia is pushing to make the team as the fourth outfielder

PEORIA, Ariz. — The difference is striking. A year and a day ago, Guillermo Heredia arrived at the Mariners’ spring-training complex unaware and unsure of what would follow.

A Cuban defector who had sat out for all of 2015, he was signed to a free-agent contract days into spring training. His first taste of organized baseball in the United States came at the highest level — big-league spring training with the Mariners. Nothing about this existence was familiar other than fellow Cuban Leonys Martin, whose locker was next to him.

That uncertainty of belonging often left him sitting quietly in front of his locker, staring at his phone or at the array of new faces he did not know and many he couldn’t communicate with, not that he had a reason to.

Fast forward to Sunday morning in the same clubhouse and…

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