Roster Breakdown

Time to introduce a new feature for this spring. I’m going to be trying to keep track of all the position battles the Mariners have and present them in the classic pre-march madness bracketology style.  The plan is for me to update this once a week until the rosters are set right before the season starts.

I should note that I’m not in Arizona this year, and that stat lines in spring games have very little meaning. All of this is done entirely by gleaming information from quotes of the coaching staff, and from the opinions of those who are there watching the workouts (Geoff Baker, Larry Stone, etc.). Obviously, all of this should be taken with a large grain of salt.

Also, If you think I’m reading thing incorrectly, or if I’ve missed something, or that I’m just crazy, I’d love to hear your thoughts on things.

Outfield: 5 Roster spots available

Locks Ichiro, Gutierrez
On the bubble Saunders, Bradley
Work left to do Gerut, Gross, Langerhans, Wilson, Halman, Peguero, Chavez
Comments: Ichiro and Guti are obvious. Most would say that Saunders has a spot locked up already, and I tend to agree, but there’s a chance that he could start the year in AAA. Bradley likely wont get cut, but it does appear that he’s going to have to prove he can still hit in order to make the roster. Halman, Peguero and Chavez all have options left. The other 4 aren’t on the roster. My dark horse for making team out of this group is Mike Wilson.  There’s also a chance that only 4 OF make the team and the 5th is someone like Carp or Tui that can play both the outfield and the infield.

Infield: 5 Roster spots available

Locks Smoak, Ryan, Jack Wilson, Figgins
On the bubble Kennedy, Ackley
Work left to do Liddi, Tuiasosopo, Mangini, Josh Wilson, Carp, Kazmar, Rodriquez
Comments: This is a tough battle to handicap, and it seems like it could be wide open after the 4 starters. Ackley likely starts the year in AAA for service time reasons. If Kennedy can’t show that he can still hit then just about anything is possible.  My dark horse for this 5th infielder job would be either Mike Carp or Matt Mangini. Carp can cover 1B, DH and LF, while Mangini can cover 1B, 3B and DH. Both can hit a little too, aren’t good enough prospects that the team will worry about having them buried on the bench for a while, though I do expect a middle infielder to take the spot instead.

Catcher/DH: 3 Roster spots available

Locks Cust, Olivo
On the bubble Moore, Bard
Work left to do Baron, Gimenez
Comments:  Moore won’t get cut, but could start the year in Tacoma. That is the only way the Bard, Baron and Gimenez have a shot. I’d say Bard has the early edge because of his experience. My dark horse would be Gimenez. If it’s not Bard or Moore, it’ll be him.

Rotation: 5 Roster spots available

Locks Felix, Vargus, Fister
On the bubble Bedard, French, Pauley, Pineda, Robertson
Work left to do Beavan
Comments: The top 3 seem set. Bedard is in if he’s healthy, otherwise it 2 of the other 4. Beavan is in camp and on the 40 man roster, but he’s not ready for for the majors yet. Pineda is likely to start in AAA and come up in June because of the service time issue, but you never know, so he’s my dark horse here.

Bullpen: 7 Roster spots available

Locks League, Cortez
On the bubble Kelley, Aardsma, Robles, Lueke, Ray,   Delcarmen
Work left to do Olson, Jimenez, Wright, Bautista, Haeger, Miller, Petit, Smith, Roe, Flores, Wilhelmsen, Medina, Seddon, Castro, Paredes, Ring
Comments: Don’t get me wrong, Kelley and Aardsma’s jobs aren’t in danger, but neither might be healthy in time for opening day. Both are likely DL candidates. There are also those who lose out on the rotation jobs to think about as well. The bullpen is always wide open. Dark Horse for this battle? I’ll go with Flores, the rule 5 draft pick. He’s also equally likely to be the first player to lose his 40 man roster spot so a non-roster player can stay.

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