Sep 27, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners center fielder Austin Jackson (16, obscured) is congratulated by teammates after hitting an RBI-fielders choice against the Los Angeles Angels for a 2-1 Mariners victory during the eleventh inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
How many question marks are there on the Seattle Mariners’ Opening Day roster? Pitchers and catchers reports on February 20th to Peoria, Arizona for the start of Spring Training. Will the month in the sun bring surprises to the 25-man roster? Or will the Mariners– barring injuries of course– go chalk and pick the boring, obvious choices for Opening Day?
Before predicting the roster by infield (plus catcher), outfield (plus DH), starting rotation, bullpen, and bench, I want to preface it with a few things: 1. It’s still almost 2 months until Opening Day, so lots of things could change with injuries and any late trades or signings; 2. Predictions always find a way to be imperfect: remember when people picked the Boston Red Sox and the Washington Nationals to play in the 2014 World Series? Me too.
And though the Mariners don’t necessarily have too many question marks at starting spots, depth could become an issue if injuries pileup, especially in the rotation where the Mariners look to rely on a younger staff.
The most hotly contested starting spot will be shortstop. Then after that it comes down to who gets the nod in right field Opening Day, and who starts the season as the backup catcher. Finally, with all the depth and youth in the bullpen, there are a lot of moving parts that will take a good portion of Spring Training to sort out.
And so we begin with the Seattle Mariners Opening Day infield…