The Mariners had a disappointing 2023, there is no way to sugarcoat it. Coming off an impressive 2022 season that saw them break their long-standing playoff drought, as well as win a playoff series against their rival, Toronto Blue Jays, the expectations were sky-high. The additions of Teoscar Hernandez, AJ Pollock, and Kolten Wong, with a full season of Luis Castillo and George Kirby had everyone thinking this team would be a contender for the AL West. A major injury to Robbie Ray, as well as absolutely dreadful seasons from Kolten Wong and AJ Pollock put a lot of pressure on guys that probably shouldn't be carrying as much weight as they were.
Many players were forced into positions or roles that they probably shouldn't be in, for a playoff-contending team. Guys like Dylan Moore, Sam Haggerty, Jose Caballero, Mike Ford, and Cade Marlowe were forced into more full-time roles than they should have been. Not all the blame falls on those secondary guys, though, as this team doesn't go as they do. This team goes as their pitching does, as well as how Julio, Geno, Ty France, Teoscar Hernandez, and Cal Raleigh go. Those guys are the heart of the order and other than an absolutely insane August, they were all pretty average, something that cannot happen when you want to win a division, especially the AL West.
Today we are going to look at 3 players who should not be guaranteed a spot on the opening day roster starting in 2024. These are guys that are, in my opinion, in 1 of 2 situations. First off, they have either played so poorly that they should not be guaranteed a spot on the opening day roster unless they force your hand. They either need to spend more time in the minor leagues, they need more competition at their position, or they need to be sent away and replaced for more production. The second reason is that they were forced into way too many at-bats for my liking. The Mariners didn't have a lot of choices, given injuries and lack of production from some major positions, but moving forward, these 3 should either have more competition for their role or not be on the opening day roster altogether.