Monday, March 28, 2011

MARINERS: 40-man roster taking shape

Josh Wilson
Around this time in Spring Training, Major League teams finally start to make the final cuts, and the Mariners are no different.

Today, the Mariners cut utility infielder Josh Wilson, which leaves just one spot remaining on the 40-man big league roster. The M’s also sent Luke French, Chris Gimenez, and Josh Bard to AAA Tacoma. The seven innings caught by Miguel Olivo yesterday looks like it went a long way towards assuring the Mariners that their catching situation is fine for now and won't require an emergency backup.

As expected, 2B Adam Kennedy was added to the roster today, which makes it look as though the bench will consist of...

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C Adam Moore
OF Ryan Langerhans
INF Adam Kennedy

Not a strong bench, but not terrible either. Adam Moore has experience with most of the Mariners pitchers, while Ryan Langerhans can play any outfield spot. Adam Kennedy has played second base most of his career, and can fill in for injury prone 2B Jack Wilson when needed.

In other news, the Mariners “officially” announced their rotation today, and surprisingly Felix Hernandez was named the opening game starter. Shocking, I know. But seriously, here’s the rotation order Eric Wedge decided on…

1 - Felix Hernandez
2 - Jason Vargas
3 - Doug Fister
4 - Erik Bedard
5 - Michael Pineda

No surprises here. Pineda blew out any other competition for the 5th spot, and essentially won the spot a couple weeks ago. Don’t be surprised if Pineda takes the 3rd or 4th spot by the end of the season.

Oh, and here’s what your bullpen is going to look like to start the season.

Closer - Brandon League
Chris Ray
Josh Lueke
Jamey Wright
Cesar Jimenez/Tom Wilhelmsen
Aaron Laffey
David Pauley

Yeah, so the bullpen doesn’t look that great. Actually, it’s terrible. Closer David Aardsma will start the season on the DL, and there’s no one who can really replace him. Brandon League will try, but is too erratic to close out games and will likely blow a few before the DA comes back.

Reach Nathan Parsons at