After a winter of rebuilding their pitching staff and retooling their starting lineup, the Seattle Mariners have now redecorated their bench – including with that redesign a few surprises.
Rene Rivera is out as backup catcher, journeyman Jamie Burke is in.
Jeremy Reed is out as a reserve outfielder, veteran Rey Ordonez appears to be in as a utility infielder.
Rivera and Reed were sent to Tacoma’s minor league roster on Wednesday, along with pitchers Sean Green and Eric O’Flaherty. Non-roster pitcher Aaron Small was reassigned to minor league camp.
That leaves 33 men in camp for 25 jobs, and all 33 are likely to fly to San Francisco, then Las Vegas for the final three exhibition games of spring.
Rivera was simply out-played by Burke in camp, and Reed, who batted .280, simply had no place to play. Left-handed hitter Ben Broussard showed he could play the outfield this spring, and right-handed hitter Willie Bloomquist is a solid defensive outfielder.
The toughest decision left for Seattle is what to do with Rule V right-hander Sean White. If they don’t keep him on the 25-man roster all season, the Mariners must offer him back to Atlanta – and this spring, White has a 1.29 earned run average in 14 innings.
White, Brandon Morrow and Jake Woods have all pitched well enough to make the team, but it’s likely only two of the three will.