Mariners Spring Training Preview: The Minor Leaguers

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Jul 6, 2012; Anaheim, CA, USA; Baltimore Orioles left fielder Xavier Avery (13) catches a fly ball by Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Maicer Izturis (not pictured) in the eighth inning at Angel Stadium. Avery was traded to the Mariners in 2013 in the Michael Morse deal. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Out in the outfield

Assuming the following five will be patrolling in Safeco’s vast outfield landscape – Michael Saunders, Dustin Ackley, Logan Morrison, Franklin Gutierrez, Nelson Cruz – here’s where I think the others will go.

First off, if the Mariners don’t sign Nelson Cruz, I fully expect that Abraham Almonte will make the club. If they sign Cruz, he will be in Tacoma to start the year and should be the first OF called up if LoMo or Guti (maybe I should say when) get hurt.

James Jones and Julio Morban will more than likely begin the year at Double-A Jackson. Meanwhile, Xavier Avery, Stefen Romero and Almonte will patrol the outfield in Tacoma to start the year.

Endy Chavez and Cole Gillespie were both extended invites as well. I see Gillespie – with a good Spring – making the club in Tacoma. As for Chavez, I think at 36-years old, he is looking to make an MLB roster. If there is no room for him and he has a solid Spring, he could be traded. If he struggles, the M’s will more than likely just designate him for assignment.

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  • maqman

    As to the 40-man roster they might be able to put Pryor on the 60-day DL, although I am uncertain if that can be done at this point. If not then Avery, Jones or Triunfel seem the most expendable. The rotation and bullpen are not real assuring. Some of Smoak, Ackley, Zunino, Franklin, Saunders and Almonte have to contribute noticeably better than last season as there are questions about Hart, LoMo and Guti that might not be answered in the way they hope they will be. GMZ has issued fewer spring training invitations to possible rotation or bullpen arms than in the past it seems to me. Counting on Pryor to become a factor again might just be wishful thinking, as is the return of Danny Hultzen. Shoulder problems are worse than elbow surgery as far as full recovery rates go.