Here’s your final Mariners roster
Starting pitchers (5): Felix Hernandez, Erasmo Ramirez, James Paxton, Roenis Elias, Chris Young. Sent down – Blake Beavan. Brandon Maurer. 15-day disabled list candidates– Hisashi Iwakuma, Taijuan Walker.
Bullpen (7): Right handers Fernando Rodney, Danny Farquhar, Tom Wilhelmsen, Yoervis Medina and Hector Noesi. Left handers Charlie Furbush and Joe Beimel. Sent down – Lucas Luetge, Zach Miner, Dominic Leone, Carson Smith, Ramon Ramirez. 15-day disabled list candidate – Stephen Pryor.
Catchers (2): Mike Zunino, John Buck.
Infielders (6): Justin Smoak, Robinson Cano, Brad Miller, Kyle Seager, Willie Bloomquist, Logan Morrison. Sent down — Nick Franklin.
Outfielders (5): Dustin Ackley, Abraham Almonte, Michael Saunders, Corey Hart, Stefen Romero.
Brad Miller left little to chance this spring, putting together a tremendous Cactus League season to win Seattle’s starting shortstop job, a decision that became final Friday when the club optioned Nick Franklin to Triple-A Tacoma.
With Opening Day looming Monday in Anaheim, the Mariners also narrowed down their pitching staff by sending down starter Blake Beavan and relievers Lucas Luetge, Carson Smith, Dominic Leone, Zach Miner and Ramon Ramirez.
The roster now stands at 28 players, with starting pitchers Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker and reliever Stephen Pryor expected to be placed on the 15-day disabled list by Sunday’s final roster deadline.
Franklin, 22, played 102 games for the Mariners last year as a rookie second baseman, but lost that job when Seattle signed Robinson Cano to a 10-year, $240 million deal.
New manager Lloyd McClendon gave the youngster every opportunity to compete at shortstop with Miller, who also was promoted at midseason a year earlier. But Miller came out hot and never slowed down. He heads into Friday’s games ranked first in the Cactus League with a .439 average, .895 slugging percentage and 17 runs scored, while second to Mike Moustakas of the Royals in on-base percentage at .500.
Miller has been driving the ball all spring with 14 extra-base hits (six doubles, four triples and four home runs) in 19 games.
Franklin played well at shortstop, the position he was drafted at coming out of high school in Orlando, Fla., as a first-round pick in 2009. He hit .265 with four doubles, one home run and six RBIs in 17 games, but couldn’t match Miller’s production.
Though the club could make additional roster moves before the 25-man roster needs to be set on Sunday afternoon, the Mariners now appear set with their final position players with catchers Mike Zunino and John Buck, infielders Justin Smoak, Cano, Miller, Kyle Seager, Willie Bloomquist and Logan Morrison and outfielders Dustin Ackley, Abraham Almonte, Michael Saunders, Corey Hart and Stefen Romero.
The pitching also solidified with Thursday’s signing of right-hander Chris Young to a one-year Major League deal, which adds a veteran at the back end of a young rotation behind ace Felix Hernandez. McClendon said Young will start Saturday’s Cactus League finale and then be his fifth starter when the season opens.
Erasmo Ramirez, James Paxton and Roenis Elias will fill the other three slots and that trio has a combined 25 Major League starts between them, with Elias making the jump from Double-A ball and Paxton having pitched just four games for the Mariners last September.
All-Star right-hander Iwakuma and top prospect Walker are recovering from injuries and could be back sometime in late April, but for now the youngsters will get their chance to shine along with Young, who hasn’t pitched in the Majors since 2012 due to shoulder problems.
The bullpen is set now as well with closer Fernando Rodney and fellow right-handers Danny Farquhar, Yoervis Medina, Hector Noesi, and Tom Wilhelmsen, along with left-handers Joe Beimel and Charlie Furbush.
Beimel and Elias had to be added to the 40-man roster, so shortstop Carlos Triunfel and outfielder Xavier Avery were designated for assignment to make room.