Here’s how I think the final roster plays out
We’re getting down to cutting time in Mariners camp, with 40 players still in tow and Opening Day now less than a week removed.
The ax will likely fall Sunday on a bunch of players on the bubble. It’s never a fun day in camp when dreams get shattered or at least delayed, but it is part of the business.
The Mariners have a couple issues that will affect their final 25, the biggest being the situation with Franklin Gutierrez. It’s seeming more and more like he could open the year on the Disabled List until they can figure out what’s wrong with his digestive system and whether he’ll be strong enough to play on an every-day basis going forward.
That situation means Michael Saunders, who very well could have opened the season in Tacoma, instead likely becomes the interim center fielder. And I think it means Matt Tuiasosopo’s odds just increased greatly as well, given the need for some outfield options and his ability to play just about anywhere needed.
I’ve said all along that Jack Zduriencik may well make some last-minute additions off the waiver wire or via trade, given the bullpen seems awfully unsettled. But if I had to pick a final 25 at this moment, I’d go with this:
Rotation: Felix Hernandez, Jason Vargas, Doug Fister, Erik Bedard, Michael Pineda. (Sent down: Luke French).
Bullpen: Brandon League, Chris Ray, Josh Lueke, David Pauley, Aaron Laffey, Jamey Wright, Royce Ring. (Sent down: Denny Bautista, Justin Miller, Tom Wilhelmsen, Cesar Jimenez. DL: David Aardsma, Shawn Kelley).
Catchers: Miguel Olivo, Adam Moore. (Sent down: Josh Bard, Chris Gimenez).
Infielders: Justin Smoak, Jack Wilson, Brendan Ryan, Chone Figgins, Adam Kennedy. (Sent down: Luis Rodriguez. DL: Matt Mangini).
Outfielders: Ichiro Suzuki, Michael Saunders, Milton Bradley, Ryan Langerhans, Matt Tuiasosopo. (Sent down: Mike Wilson. DL: Franklin Gutierrez).
Designated hitter: Jack Cust.
Five of those players are non-roster invitees — Kennedy, Langerhans, Ray, Wright and Ring — meaning they’ll need to be added to the 40-man roster. The 40-man currently is at 38, so three players will need to be lopped off that to create space.
Just guessing here, but they could put pitcher Mauricio Robles on the 60-day DL to open one spot, then release pitcher Chaz Roe (obtained in the Jose Lopez trade) and infielder Josh Wilson to clear the final two spots.
But again, Zduriencik might have his own ideas. So we’ll see soon enough.