Here’s today’s line-up … could be very similar to what they roll out against right-hander Jered Weaver on Monday.
So manager Lloyd McClendon has set his 25-man roster. It looks like this …
- Felix Hernandez
- Erasmo Ramirez
- James Paxton
- Roenis Elias
- Chris Young
- Fernando Rodney
- Danny Farquhar
- Charlie Furbush
- Tom Wilhelmsen
- Joe Beimel
- Yoervis Medina
- Hector Noesi
- Dustin Ackley
- Abraham Almonte
- Stefen Romero
- Michael Saunders
- Logan Morrison
- Corey Hart
- Willie Bloomquist
- Robinson Cano
- Brad Miller
- Kyle Seager
- Justin Smoak
- John Buck
- Mike Zunino
The order of the rotation above is how it will be slotted for the first week. With the Mariners only playing three games in Anaheim, having back-to-back lefties in the rotation isn’t an issue. It could be the second time through. But the Mariners also have two off days that next week.
“We’ll worry about that later,” McClendon said.
It wasn’t fun telling players they had been cut, but it was fun for McClendon to tell Elias he had made the team.
“He was very happy,” McClendon said. “I didn’t understand everything he said because most of it was in Spanish. But I think in the end he tried to kiss me. I figured he was happy at that point.”
To make room on the 40-man roster for Beimel and Elias, infielder and one-time prized prospect Carlos Triunfel and outfielder Xavier Avery were designated for assignment. Triunfel never lived up to the potential that many expected when he was signed by former GM Bill Bavasi. His unwillingness to develop any sort of approach at the plate and some lingering attitude issues were never corrected.
Nick Franklin, Lucas Luetge, Blake Beavan and Brandon Maurer were optioned to Class AAA Tacoma. Dominic Leone, Carson Smith, Endy Chavez, Humberto Quintero, Carson Smith, Zach Miner and Ramon Ramirez were optioned to minor league camp (they aren’t on the 40-man roster).
Obviously, it seemed as though Franklin would end up in Tacoma if he hadn’t been traded. It was apparent about 10-12 days ago that Brad Miller had taken control of the competition for the starting shortstop.
“They both played extremely well,” McClendon said. “Brad separated himself. I’d be fool if I told you he didn’t. I think we all saw it. He separated himself and played extremely well. He deserves the opportunity and he’s getting it. Nick didn’t lose the job, it was more Brad winning the job.”
Franklin will play “predominantly shortstop” with the Rainiers along with a little second base.
“He might play some outfield,” McClendon said.
McClendon took the veteran Beimel over Luetge, who was also hurt by having Triple A options.
“He’s a veteran guy that knows what he’s doing,” McClendon said. “He knows how to pitch. He knows how to get right-handers out as well as lefties. I think he’ll be a nice addition.”
Romero’s role will be as the fourth outfielder, but I think you’ll see McClendon mix and match a little. He can do some different things by bumping Saunders to center field if needed.
“I’ll use him just like I used him this spring – outfield with a little bit of first base and maybe pinch hitting in some big situations,” McClendon said.
Noesi was out of options and would have been DFA’d had he not made the team. But McClendon liked what he saw. There’s never been a question about Noesi’s talent. It’s about his focus and commitment. McClendon believes it’s been better.
“He threw the ball extremely well,” he said. “I don’t think anybody will argue with that fact. He’s made drastic improvements over last year. The staff was very impressed. He deserved that opportunity. ”
Hisashi Iwakuma, Taijuan Walker and Stephen Pryor will likely be headed to the disabled list. Iwakuma will travel with the team to continue his throwing program. Walker will hopefully got to Class A High Desert to start a game there if he continues to progress. Pryor is likely headed to Class AA Jackson
It looks as though Corey Hart won’t need to start the season on the DL. He’s going to get 7 at-bats in today’s minor league game. If that goes well, he will play in tomorrow’s Cactus League finale.
Chris Young will start that game tomorrow in Scottsdale. McClendon said he’ll have a 75-80 pitch limit. We talked with Young earlier (blog coming later) about his health and other aspects. He said he feels good.
Young told us that he did sign the 45-day advanced consent waiver that Randy Wolf refused to sign.
“I felt like it was a non-issue for me,” he said. “I always tell myself that it’s a performance-based game. The club has the right to release you at any point. It’s just a matter of whether your salary is guaranteed for the rest of the season. For me, I don’t play for the money. I play because I love the game.”