Mariners Spring Training Preview: The Minor Leaguers
By Dan Hughes
Sep 1, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Charlie Furbush (41) pitches during the eighth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
On the mound
This is the tough one. Charlie did an amazing job in his bullpen piece in trying to nail down the spots. For this example, I am going to use a starting rotation of: Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, Taijuan Walker, James Paxton and Scott Baker.
The bullpen spots go to: Fernando Rodney, Danny Farquhar, Erasmo Ramirez, Tom Wilhelmsen, Brandon Maurer, Bobby LaFromboise and Yoervis Medina.
Assuming the M’s don’t sign another starting pitcher, Brandon Maurer may or may not end up in the bullpen. If they elect to start him in Tacoma, then my guess is that Lucas Luetge gets the nod for the Mariners ‘Pen. In fact, Luetge may get the nod over LaFromboise anyways.
There are a ton of arms on this 40-man and even more that were invited to camp. Rather than list the ones I think will stick, here are the ones I expect not to.
Joe Beimel– He will turn 37 shortly after Opening Day. I’m still puzzled by this signing. He will most likely not make the cut.
Matt Palmer– Same story, though a bit younger at 35 when Opening Day arrives.
Andrew Carraway– Nothing solid supports my thoughts here. Just a hunch. The guy has struggled in the minors. If the M’s need depth in Tacoma he may make the cut there.
The rest of the pitchers on the 40-man and the non-roster invitees I fully expect to start the season in Tacoma or Jackson.
A lot can still happen between now and the end of Spring Training. Whether or not the team signs Nelson Cruz, another starting pitcher or trades for one can make a difference on who makes the 25-man roster out of camp and who starts the season in Tacoma.
We also have yet to hear who will be designated for assignment to make room for Rodney on the 40-man. That could tell us something as well.
It has been an exciting offseason and it looks to be an exciting spring. Stay tuned for the latest late-breaking news, as well as Part 5 of this series coming Wednesday – the first day of Camp.