The Mariners Triple-A affiliate Tacoma Rainiers begin their 2021 season today and will allow 50% capacity. The Rainiers start the season against the El Paso Chihuahuas (San Diego Padres) in a six-game series.
The Rainiers have a lot of big names on its 2021 roster and I wouldn’t be surprised if the stadiums get packed with Mariners fans.
Tacoma Rainiers to watch this season
Obviously, the biggest name on the roster is Jarred Kelenic. The Mariners top prospect is getting a lot of attention and hopefully won’t be in Tacoma for too long if he can make an immediate impact at the Triple-A level.
This will be Kelenic’s first time playing at Triple-A so it will be interesting to see how he performs against better minor league pitchers. Kelenic will lead off and play left field in the opener.
Another player to keep a close eye on is Logan Gilbert, our next ace. Although he isn’t the starting pitcher today, he will be getting lots of opportunities to show off his nasty repertoire. Gilbert is another player that should be playing in T-Mobile Park soon and his performances in Tacoma will dictate how quickly we might see him.
Cal Raleigh is another prospect to watch closely as he gets his first taste of Triple-A as well. Not only will Raleigh see better pitching, but he will also have an opportunity to improve his defense behind the plate. The former third-round pick will get to work closely with Gilbert and a handful of relievers with major league experience. Raleigh is hitting cleanup today in Tacoma.
On that topic, there are lots of good relief pitchers on the Tacoma Rainiers roster. Yohan Ramirez is looking to fix his control issues down in Tacoma and if he can, he could be an elite bullpen guy.
Wyatt Mills and Aaron Fletcher will get to pitch in Triple-A for the first time and continue to improve. Both of them have had short unimpressive stints with the Mariners but I think they could be important relievers in the future.
The Rainiers have an exciting team and I expect to see a lot of roster shuffling throughout the season.