Pineda gets promotion to 40-man roster
The Mariners will make some additions to their 40-man roster this afternoon in order to protect some youngsters from the upcoming Rule 5 draft. And GM Jack Zduriencik already acknowledged the not-surprising news on KJR-AM this morning that one of those players will be top pitching prospect Michael Pineda.
Given that Pineda will be brought to Spring Training with the chance to compete for a spot in the Mariners rotation next season, it’s a given that the youngster would be protected this year, which is the first time he would have been exposed to the Rule 5 draft after five years in Seattle’s system.
Pineda, 21, was the Mariners Minor League Pitcher of the Year after splitting time between AA West Tenn (8-1, 2.22 ERA) and AAA Tacoma (3-3, 4.76). He racked up 154 strikeouts in 139 1/3 innings.
The Mariners have just 29 players on their current 40-man roster, so expect a good number of promotions today.
Here’s a link to the current 40-man roster as it stands.
The Rule 5 draft is held on the final day of the Winter Meetings on Dec. 9.
UPDATE (4:39 p.m.): The Mariners just released the names of all 10 players who’ve been added. Here’s the list and I’ll update with full story after a conference call with Jack Zduriencik.
· OF Johermyn Chávez
· RHP Maikel Cleto
· LHP César Jiménez
· INF Alex Liddi
· RHP Josh Lueke
· RHP Yoervis Medina
· OF Carlos Peguero
· RHP Michael Pineda
· LHP Mauricio Robles
· RHP Tom Wilhelmsen
There’s a couple interesting names on that list. Jimenez is a 26-year-old lefty who pitched 31 games of relief for the Mariners in 2008 and four games in 2006, but missed most of 2009 with a torn labrum.
He made a nice start on his comeback this past year and is pitching well enough in the Venezuelan League right now that the Mariners chose to protect him.
Wilhelmsen is another 26-year-old who pitched very well in the Mariners’ low-minor system after coming back from a six-year absence from baseball.
Most of the others are promising young prospects. Only three of the 10 were position players. Liddi is a third baseman from Italy with good power, Chavez is an outfielder they got in the Brandon Morrow-Brandon League trade who hit 32 home runs in A ball this year and Peguero is a big (6-5, 247) kid from the Dominican who played in the Futures Game.
Zduriencik said he didn’t know how soon any of these kids would make the big club, but they all are in position to get a chance in what appears a good situation for young prospects to make a name for themselves.
Here’s my updated story on mariners.com with quotes from Zduriencik and info on all 10 players.