Well as Bryant just reported, Hong-Chih Kuo has been released by the Mariners. His struggles this spring are too bad, I and too wish the best for the guy.
Now that I’ve shed a tear, it’s time to look towards the future. If you happen to glance at the Mariner ‘s 40 man roster, you will notice something peculiar about it… it only has 39 players. Who will replace Kuo on the 40 man roster and be available for Seattle to call up during the season?
I believe that the answer to that question is Japanesse utility infilder Munenori Kawasaki. He is currently a non roster invite, but I believe that .320/.370/.320 spring and plus defensive skills warrant a move the 40 man roster, if not the 25 man roster.
A couple of other position player options would be Nick Franklin or Vinnie Catricala. The 24 year old Catricala appears to be the more MLB ready option, and Seattle already has a young shortstop on the 40 man named Carlos Triunfel which mostly takes away the need for Franklin currently.
On the pitching side of the ball, the Mariners just lost one of their few lefties. Charlie Furbush, Cesar Jimenez, Mauricio Robles, Danny Hultzen, and George Sherill are the south paws left over. While these guys can probably step into the hole left by Kuo, the Mariners might be looking for another lefty to add to the pen. Could this be the opening James Paxton has been looking for? Also note Erasmo Ramirez and Kevin Millwood, although both right handed, are both non roster invitees that have made very strong cases for roster spots. One of them could swoop in and grab this vacant position.
While there will be plenty of other additions and removals to the 40 man roster later in the spring, this particular move could be a very clear sign of the future of the ball club.
Topics: Carlos Triunfel, Cesar Jimenez, Charlie Furbush, Danny Hultzen, Erasmo Ramirez, George Sherrill, Hong Chih Kuo, James Paxton, Kevin Millwood, Mauricio Robles, Munenori Kawasaki, Nick Franklin, Vinnie Catricala