Seattle Mariners Opening Day Roster: Sodo Mojo Predictions

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Jul 22, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners shortstop Willie Bloomquist (8) scores a run off a RBI double hit by Seattle Mariners left fielder Dustin Ackley (not pictured) during the fifth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Bench:

For the sake of this post, let’s say the Mariners go with a 7-man bullpen to start the season. That would mean 12 total pitchers, and 9 starting position players, for a grand total of 21.

So which 4 Mariners will be posting up on the bench, providing versatility and depth throughout the season?

The first and most important is the backup catcher. As Dan explored in a recent post, the Mariners have a lot of options for the backup backstop.

Feb 20, 2014; Peoria, AZ, USA; Seattle Mariners catcher

John Hicks

(67) poses for a picture during photo day at Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Helikes John Hicks, who split time between Double-A Jackson and Triple-A Tacoma in 2014 with a slash of .290/.351/.403 with five homers and 47 RBI in 53 games. Then in 13 games in the AFL, Hicks slashed .304/.396/.522 with a couple of homers and 11 RBI. Though Hicks is young and inexperienced, I think the combo of him and Zunino behind the dish would be the best setup for the Mariners, as they are both learning and staying fresh and both carry the most upside of all the catchers on the roster.

So that’s 22.

The 23rd man will be Justin Ruggiano, who is platooning in right most likely with Seth Smith.

The 24th will be Willie Bloomquist, if he’s heathy. Because a healthy Willie ballgame can back up pretty much everywhere except centerfield and catcher.

So who gets that 25th spot? For me, it’s between a backup outfielder and Jesus Montero. If Taylor loses the starting job to Brad Miller and Bloomquist is healthy, I think he stays in Triple-A Tacoma.

The Mariners could carry only 4 outfielders on the roster, as Ruggiano has played almost half of his MLB games in centerfield and Nelson Cruz can play in left.

When Montero comes out swinging with his new, slim frame at Spring Training, he fights to earn a spot. But, ultimately, I think the Mariners highly value defense and speed, and if James Jones improves at the plate, he will be the 25th man on the roster.

Now for the final summary of the Seattle Mariners 25-man Opening Day roster…