As manager Lloyd McClendon had said in his pre-game meeting with the media, it’s the time in spring training when it’s time for players to separate from the pack or be eliminated from it.
Shortly after, the Mariners did some official eliminating, announcing that three players had been optioned to Tacoma — Jesus Montero, James Jones and Xavier Avery, the latter two outfielders.
Also re-assigned to the minor league camp was OF Chris Taylor.
That leaves the Mariners with 40 players in their Major League camp — 29 roster players and 11 non-roster players.
The big name above is Montero, the once highly-prized prospect whose career has hit a wall and who came to camp in bad enough shape that the team was unusually blunt in expressing its disappointment.
Montero, who has been playing primarily first base, is hitting .310 and has two homers in 29 at-bats. But the team obviously wants him to work his way back into shape in Tacoma before thinking about making him part of the big club again.