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

March 29, 2007 at 3:36 PM

Morrow makes team

They haven’t officially announced it yet — and won’t for another day or two — but Brandon Morrow has just made it on to the major league roster. That’s because, moments ago, the team informed Jon Huber he was being optioned to Class AAA Tacoma. Huber was the only pitcher left who was going to bump Morrow off the opening day squad.
Let’s get those arguments going!
The team — what’s left of it here — just wrapped up the Cactus League portion of the spring, the M’s losing a Class AAA contest here today that only 4,800 and change bothered to take in. Ignore the 6-1 loss to the San Diego Padres. The team finishes with a 13-18 mark in Arizona. Not bad, considering how things began.
One quick note, since a reader in the previous post mentioned me going “on the DL” a second time this spring. Hey, no one is hurting! I’m merely flying back to Seattle tomorrow and getting a regular weekend off before the season begins. I’ll even get a regular day off next week and a travel day to fly to Cleveland for the team’s first road trip. This is normal stuff done by every newspaper. Imagine waking up and going to work for 15 or 20 consecutive days without a weekend off. That’s what we do down here in spring training. It’s a grind. If we were to work 100 consecutive days, this blog would be a mess, the features we’d write would be non-existent and the over-all product would stink. Everyone substitutes writers on and off to keep things fresh, just like the baseball teams do. You think the Times wants to pay me the OT involved with too many consecutive weeks? No way, folks. Can’t blame them.
So, not to worry, I’m as eager for the season as all of you are, which is how I can sit here pounding this out.
Sean White is eager too. He should hear by Sunday that he is heading north to his home state. His father, Tom, flew in here last night to see his son pitch today. White retired the first six batters he faced, then walked a pair, saw them bunted over and allowed a run to score. So, that’s 3 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K and a 1.59 ERA for White this spring.
Jake Woods also pitched here today, giving up two unearned runs over two frames. His ERA was just 2.57, but he’ll be headed to Class AAA as White beats him out for the long relief job. Tough break, but when one guy has options left and the other is a Rule 5 pick, the choice becomes easier for the team to make. Wasn’t aware until recently that Woods had options. Neither, it appears, were many others, save for Seattle’s front office.
Jose Vidro went 1-for-3 with a double, driving in his 15th RBI to tie Raul Ibanez for the final team lead this spring. Vidro feels in great physical shape and can’t wait to start his new DH job for real.
To sum up, I liked what I saw offrensively from the team this spring. If Richie Sexson gets going, it’s the division’s most balanced and lethal attack. The bullpen remains a huge concern for me and I’m not sure about two or three of the starters behind Felix Hernandez. My biggest concern heading into camp was the starting pitching and that hasn’t been resolved for me yet. I think Hernandez outperformed my expectations, Jeff Weaver underperformed them and Miguel Batista and Horacio Ramirez met them.
The bullpen looks worse than I thought. This was the team’s biggest strength, in my book, heading into the season. It has since become a potential liability. That’s not good. Over-all, I can’t see it beating out Los Angeles or Oakland. The division race might be tight, but there is still far too much that has to go completely right for Seattle. As we’re seeing, with the potential for a 2006 first rounder and a Rule 5 pick in the bullpen, it’s already started to go wrong in some areas.
I expect more consistent baseball this year. Better offense from Seattle, certainly, and feel confident this team won’t finish last.



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