Mariners Insider

With 47 Mariners in camp, we cut to 25

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on March 15, 2012 at 1:52 pm with 6 Comments »
March 15, 2012 1:52 pm
Felix Hernandez

Six days until the Seattle Mariners finish up the first part of their Arizona spring and fly to Japan with 30 players.

By March 28, they’ll be down to their opening day roster of 25.

          Today, they’ve got 47 bodies still in camp. How tough will it be to carve that number down?

 Not very. We can come pretty close right now – and here it is:

Catcher (3):
Miguel Olivo, Jesus Montero, John Jaso.

Infield (6):
Justin Smoak 1B, Dustin Ackley 2B, Chone Figgins 3B, Brendan Ryan SS, Munenori Kawasaki and Kyle Seager, reserves.

Outfield (3):
Mike Carp LF, Michael Saunders CF, Ichiro Suzuki RF,

Rotation (4):
 Felix Hernandez, Jason Vargas, Hector Noesi, Hisashi Iwakuma.

Bullpen (6):
  Brandon League, Tom Wilhelmsen, George Sherrill, Steve Delabar, Charlie Furbush, Shawn Kelley

 That’s 22 players who have, as of today, earned a spot on the opening day roster.

The bench has room for another player, and with Figgins able to spell Saunders in center – it comes down to how much stock you put in spring numbers.

Outfielder Casper Wells is the best defensive choice, but he has batted .185. Do you take a chance with Carlos Peguero (.310) or Mike Wilson (364)?

Probably not.  The Mariners don’t need a third extra infielder like Luis Rodriguez, and youngsters like Vinnie Catricala (.364) and Alex Liddi (.389) need to play regularly, not sit.

The final reserve spot: Wells.

Now the last few spots on the pitching staff. Blake Beavan has pitched well enough to be the fifth starter, but Kevin Millwood has shown he’s a veteran presence capable of – as he did Wednesday night – getting three double play ground balls in four innings.

 In truth, both have out-pitched free agent right-hander Iwakuma, but it’s tough seeing the Mariners sending him out, or losing Millwood. So figure Millwood sticks, Beavan heads for Tacoma despite a marvelous spring.

 That leaves one or two spots open in the bullpen, probably a long reliever: Aaron Heilman was brought in on a minor league deal to fill that role. Veteran Shawn Camp might take one spot from a younger pitcher, but Hong-Chih Kuo hasn’t had a 1-2-3 inning in camp.

Rookie Erasmo Ramirez would be the dark horse to win the last job.

Bottom line: The pitching staff could go with young, strong arms or choose veterans – Camp, Heilman or Millwood.

Boiling down that 47 man roster to 25 comes down to guesswork for the final three or four spots, simply because you can’t be certain which way manager Eric Wedge and his staff will lean.

On some of these decisions, it will come down to just that: the feel of the roster to the men who will try to win games that matter with it.

Leave a comment Comments → 6
  1. Larry, I suspect you’re pretty much right on with this, though I still wish they’d dump Figgins.

    Oh well, they’re not going to be in contention anyways. Hope we get to see a bunch more of the kids at mid season.

    This would seem to be a team that’s being built to contend in 2014 or 2015.

  2. Larry, I realize he’s not going to make the squad, but can you give us a sketch of Sucre, who’s going to DH tonight (Thursday)? O and D?

    Wells needs to get off the schneid. He shows a pretty good eye, but he needs to drive the ball. He’s not an automatic like Figgins, is he? Peguero’s still a big kid out there.

  3. bbnate420 says:

    Forget Millwood and keep Beavan up here! We have enough veterans on the club. I doubt Millwood will pitch much better if at all than Beavan and, I would much rather give Beavan the experience. Or even Ramirez.

    Larry, who do you think will go down when Gutierrez comes back? Does it just depend on who is playing better out of Wells and Saunders?

  4. jchawks08 says:

    bbnate, I think you answered your own question of what happens when Goot comes back. Man, personally cause I’m loyal to the home teams and farm system that Saunders lights it up to start the year. Not banking on that however.

    timeout, yea, I flipped on the TV last night and asked myself, Who the hell is Sucre and where did he come from? I’m still not sure to be honest. lol! Just when you think you know all the players..

  5. Larry Larue says:

    OK, guys, here’s a few answers to the questions.
    First, on Jesus Sucre: He’s 23 and has been playing in the minors since 2005, mostly with Atlanta. Considered decent glove and arm, but never much of a bat. He’s organizational depth at the moment, unless or until someone reaches him on hitting.
    when gutierrez returns, the mariners will go with the hot hand if there’s a huge difference. if not, consider this: guti is a right-handed hitter – as is Wells. That might work in Saunders favor, since he’s a left-handed bat.
    as for beavan and millwood, it’s a toss up – which means the decision will come down to what eric wedge wants. it would surprise me if that didn’t turn out to be millwood, with beavan relegated to pitch and wait in tacoma.

  6. It’s going to be pretty fun to watch Tacoma this year.

    I think they still have options on Beavan, so he’s going to be a Rainier initially. Until somebody gets hurt (Millwood, Iwakuma) or becomes terribly ineffective (Noesi). An organization NEEDS guys like that, because (except the 2001 M’s) it’s pretty much impossible to get 30 starts each out of five guys.

    I sure hope Saunders hits his stride this year.

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