Mariners Analysis: Updating the M’s Utility Infielder Position Battle

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Mar 17, 2016; Mesa, AZ, USA; Seattle Mariners shortstop Luis Sardinas (R) talks to Oakland Athletics third base coach Ron Washington (38) during the third inning at HoHoKam Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 17, 2016; Mesa, AZ, USA; Seattle Mariners shortstop Luis Sardinas (R) talks to Oakland Athletics third base coach Ron Washington (38) during the third inning at HoHoKam Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 14, 2016; Salt River Pima-Maricopa, AZ, USA; Seattle Mariners shortstop Luis Sardinas (16) hits an RBI triple against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the third inning during a spring training game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 14, 2016; Salt River Pima-Maricopa, AZ, USA; Seattle Mariners shortstop Luis Sardinas (16) hits an RBI triple against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the third inning during a spring training game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports /

We have reached the midway point in spring training, but it is still unclear who will be the Mariners utility infielder in 2016.

Depth was a significant issue for the Seattle Mariners in 2015, and new general manager Jerry Dipoto overturned the roster this offseason in an effort to fix this problem. There are a number of intriguing position battles this spring in Peoria, and tonight we will take a closer look at the fight to be the M’s utility infielder in 2016.

Luis Sardinas, Shawn O’Malley and Chris Taylor are currently the favorites to be the M’s utility infielder this season. The Mariners are faced with a great problem, as all three players are playing well in Cactus League action. However, only one is expected to head north to Seattle when the regular season begins next month.

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Sardinas entered camp with modest expectations, but he has quickly become a fan favorite in the Emerald City. O’Malley is a local product, and he is the most versatile defender in this group. Taylor was the Mariners starting shortstop down the stretch in 2014, but his once promising career is now hanging by a threat.

Offense will definitely play a role in Scott Servais‘ decision, but how each player fares defensively will likely determine who starts the year in the Emerald City and who is playing in Tacoma. Versatility will also be key, as the winner of this position battle will be asked to play second base, third base and shortstop for the Mariners.

We will begin the slideshow by discussing Luis Sardinas, who is off to a fantastic start this spring.

Next: The early favorite?

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