The regular season is almost here. It seems as if it was only a few days ago that the lockout ended and we got back to actually having baseball. Now, the start of the season is less than ten days away, and we will see legit MLB games happening on April 7th, which is when the Mariners travel to Minnesota to play the Twins.
Before that happens though, the Mariners have some decisions to make. We’ve already talked a bit about the fifth starter issue that the team has to decide on. Kirby and Brash have both been doing well, although it definitely seems like it is going to Brash’s the way he has been pitching.
Today though, I want to look at the lineup. We know who most of the hitters are, and who is going to make the MLB team. For the majority of it, it shouldn’t be a talking point.
Who is going to make the final spot on the Mariners bench?
That’s 12. All of those guys are 100% making the roster. I don’t think there is any doubt about it. At least, I don’t. I’ve heard people mention the possibility of sending the Big Dumper down to AAA, but I don’t agree with that. Cal Raleigh is going to be fine and should stay up in the majors.
Teams carry 13 hitters. Your backup catcher (again, it’s a split with Raleigh and Murphy) and then three other hitters. Toro is your infield super-utility guy. Moore can play everywhere as well and is actually pretty good in left.
That leaves just one more spot. You may notice that two noticeable names are missing from the list. Julio Rodriguez and Kyle Lewis.
If and when Lewis comes back, the Mariners are going to be faced with a bit of a conundrum. Which person are you sending to the minors or trading?
Is it Raleigh? Torrens bat needs to be around, and if he has made good enough strides on defense catching, you could see him and Murphy splitting time there. On the other hand, do you send Torrens down to have him work on defense, further increasing his value to the major league club?
Or, is it the youngest guy, Toro? Giving him more look in the field to build reps and even a bit of time in the outfield as was talking about this offseason. It could be the other utility in Dylan Moore, who actually has options left.
There’s a handful of guys to choose from. They all have completely legit arguments about why they should be on the big league club, but there’s that little sliver with all of them on why they could see time in Tacoma.
Or, does JeDi pull off a trade, shipping out one of those hitters and a prospect for another starting pitcher? Who knows. We do know this. With just over a week left in spring training, the Mariners still have a handful of things that they need to figure out before hopping on a plane and flying to Minnesota.