Mariners Spring Training Review


So here we are, M’s fans. One week till Opening Day! I’ve been doing so much speculative writing here at Sodo the last few months that it feels weird to be gearing up for games that actually matter. But, ready or not, it has snuck up on us.

So what have we got? As of this writing the Mariners are about three or players away from their final 25 man roster. Thus far, to be honest, there really isn’t many surprises. The one real competition—at shortstop—was delayed because of Chris Taylor‘s injury, giving way to Brad Miller.

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Yesterday J.A. Happ pitched another stinker (here), on the heels of  another poor performance and it leads to questions about his ability to perform his role as a veteran inning-eating plug (that just doesn’t sound right).

With Roenis Elias being sent down on Sunday, Happ is obviously getting the nod for the starting rotation, but unless he turns a corner, I can’t imagine this lasting long.

Elias didn’t have the greatest spring, but with his solid year last year, he’s always a nice option. If he pitches well in AAA and Happ struggles, don’t be surprised to see Elias make the journey north from Tacoma.

Obviously Happ filling his role adequately is preferred, as that wouldn’t force the Mariners to rush Elias, and it gives them more depth.

I know Elias was supposed to be in competition with Taijuan Walker, but with the way Walker pitched this spring (amazing), and with the way Happ has pitched (NOT amazing) we knew Walker was pretty much a shoe-in for the rotation, barring Lloyd McClendon doing something unforeseen.

Mar 24, 2015; Peoria, AZ, USA; Seattle Mariners outfielder Austin Jackson (16) reacts after batting in the fourth inning during a spring training game against the San Diego Padres at Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Austin Jackson and Dustin Ackley have both had good springs with averages clocking in at .333, and .342, respectively. This is good news as these two were two offensive question marks heading into spring.

Seth Smith has struggled somewhat at .222, with Justin Ruggiano performing between the two extremes at .286.

Of course, like I always do, a reminder that this is only spring and who knows. There are players that are perennially spring standouts, and there are those perennially slow starters—don’t forget old number 11.

With David Rollins 80-game suspension for performance enhancing drugs, it paves the way for Tyler Olson to make the pen as the second lefty. And it’s hard to argue with his numbers….no earned runs in 10 and 2/3 innings.

He’s never pitched above AA, so he’s not necessarily a lock, but with Joe Saunders terrible spring, and now Rollins suspension, it leaves McClendon’s hands tied.

Signing Joe Beimel might not be a bad idea, he was released by the Rangers last week after struggling mightily this spring.

I was pretty high on the Mariners resigning him, and they may have perhaps dodged a bullet in not doing so— as he might have a tough time repeating last years success.

But with their options limited, and with the Joe Saunders experiment seemingly have failed—why not give Beimel another shot? He had success just last year, and maybe Safeco’s pitcher magic can pull another good year out of him. It would add potential depth at any rate.

Overall, there won’t be very many surprises in that opening day lineup, or rotation. That will be a change for us Mariners fans, as we’re used to there being more positions up for grabs. With this years roster a more set one, we can only hope that will be a good thing.

Next: Taijuan Walker Wins Final Spot in Mariners' Rotation

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