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March 21, 2014 at 1:30 PM

A mildly educated guess on the 25-man roster

Note: Sorry about the typos and trailed off sentences … I wrote a rough draft last night at about 2 a.m.  and somehow posted that instead of the finished draft, which I managed to lose. And my day started off so well with Duke losing. 

I had a few people ask me if I was going to do a mock roster blog post. And I thought, ‘hey that’s an easy blog post for a day with a night game.’ And then when I sat down and thought about it, I realized – yeah, not so easy.

This is just a guess at what the roster will be. It’s based on really nothing other than being down here for the past six weeks and watching games, so many games . Manager Lloyd McClendon has yet to give us many hints as to some of the roster battles. This list is more of who I think they will keep, not who I think they should keep. Also I’m not putting out a projected line-up because, well, that’s another blog post for another day.

Here’s the 40-man roster.  And here’s who left in camp ..

Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 1.15.28 PM

Outfielders

  • Dustin Ackley
  • Abraham Almonte
  • Corey Hart
  • Stefen Romero
  • Michael Saunders

I still have my doubts as to whether Almonte is an every day outfielder. I would probably go with Ackley, Saunders and Hart as my starting outfield. But watching Hart it seems as though he can only start maybe one or two games in the outfielder per week. I have Romero making the team for his improved outfield play and because he is a right-handed bat, which the team is lacking. Is it bad for his development to come up and be a bench player? Yes. Playing every day in Triple A is better than playing once a week in the big leagues. But if McClendon is creative, he could find ways to keep him active and get him at-bats.

Infielders/DH

  • Willie Bloomquist
  • Robinson Cano
  • Brad Miller
  • Logan Morrison
  • Kyle Seager
  • Justin Smoak

McClendon can say the shortstop race is even. But Brad Miller will win this job. I felt like he had a slight advantage over Nick Franklin coming into camp. Miller has done nothing but add to that advantage this spring. I’m including Morrison in as a DH/1B type. I really don’t seeing him playing outfield more than a handful of times this year.

Catchers

  • John Buck
  • Mike Zunino

Really no drama here. Zunino will be the starter. Buck will play about twice a week. Zunino’s bat has really gotten better. His blocking has been a little subpar this spring. The hard ground in Arizona can make that difficult. Still there are times when he wants to come up on pitches in the dirt. That’s an easy remedy.

Starting rotation

  • Felix Hernandez
  • Scott Baker
  • James Paxton
  • Erasmo Ramirez
  • Randy Wolf

Obviously this will change when Hisashi Iwakuma gets healthy and returns to the rotation. I’m guessing by the first week in May at the latest if there are no setbacks. Taijuan Walker will likely join the rotation as well. I would like to see the Mariners give him two or three Triple A starts before calling him up. Baker and Wolf haven’t been dominant. But they are experienced guys. Roenis Elias has been impressive, but moving him up to the big leagues straight from Double A might not be the best thing. There’s no reason to rush him particularly if you think that Iwakuma will only miss three to four starts.

Bullpen

  • Fernando Rodney
  • Danny Farquhar
  • Tom Wilhelmsen
  • Lucas Luetge
  • Yoervis Medina
  • Charlie Furbush
  • Hector Noesi or Blake Beavan or Zach Miner

Yes, I can’t believe I typed Hector Noesi into the bullpen. I really think Zach Miner is who they would prefer to have in that role. But Noesi can pitch in that role and has been relatively durable. With Miner scheduled to throw three innings today, it could be a serious audition for that role. I really think they would prefer to keep Beavan stretched out and as a starter in Tacoma in case of an injury.

There are some minor 40-man roster issues. Wolf and Baker are not on the roster, so they’d have to be added. But Noesi is out of options. The will have to DFA him if he doesn’t make this team so there’s an open spot. Danny Hultzen could also be placed on the 60-day disabled list since he won’t throw this season to free up another spot. Also, if you wait till that last week, players can sometimes slide through waivers because teams are dealing with their only 40-man roster issues.

Is this what I think will happen? No idea. It’s just a guess. I could be wrong. It’s happened before.

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