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Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

March 28, 2007 at 11:56 AM

Brace yourselves for this

There are things shaking in Mariners camp and they have nothing to do with Brandon Morrow’s knees knocking.
Morrow is almost certain to be on the club. And it looks, to me at least, like Rule 5 guy Sean White is about to join him — at the expense of Jake Woods. But here’s the real shocker.
Can you say Rey Ordonez?
Yes, that Rey Ordonez. The guy who hasn’t played a major league game since 2003. Who just took three years off baseball. How could this happen? Well, it’s not official yet, but a look at today’s lineup, where Jose Lopez is batting ninth in what will likely be Tuesday’s starting nine, tells the story.
Lopez has yet to 100 per cent recover from that ankle injury he suffered back in January. No, he isn’t playing hurt. But he just hasn’t looked completely sound defensively. Or offensively for that matter. But defensively will be the big key. Especially with a relief staff of ground ball pitchers late in games. This team can’t afford a second baseman who is less than completely sound when it’s trying to protect a one-run lead by getting ground balls.
Ordonez has looked sound defensively. The team has two reservists, Ben Broussard and Willie Bloomquist, who can back up just about the entirety of the field between them. That allows you the flexibility to try to do something different. Like take an infielder strictly for his late game glove.
Mariners manager Mike Hargrove was tracking in that same direction when I spoke to him moments ago. He said Bloomquist and Broussard “allows us the possibility of maybe carrying an extra infielder.”
No, he wasn’t talking about Mike Morse.
Hargrove also added more mystery to the catching situation by warning against reading too much into who is left in camp. In other words, the Jamie Burke celebration may have been too soon. Agonizingly too soon. Hargrove wouldn’t shed any more light on that. I will say that Burke, it should be remembered, is a non-roster guy. Would the team promote someone from within? A Rob Johnson, perhaps? (Strictly my speculation). Or sign someone else late like last year with Guillermo Quiroz? The latter scenario would kill the non-roster argument. But here’s the thing. For whatever reason, the M’s are making Burke sweat.
As for White, it’s appearing more and more like he is about to be added to the roster and Woods sent down. Woods apparently still has options left while White would have to go back to Atlanta if he isn’t kept. White has worked three innings in a game this spring. He would be the long man. That’s the buzz I’m hearing. It hasn’t been confirmed by anyone. What a day! Stay tuned.



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