No Shortage Of Arms

With spring training opening on Sunday – and many players already at the Peoria camp – let’s begin our position-by-position look at the players who may open the season on Tacoma’s roster.

This series of posts will also look at the Mariners roster, too, since one usually determines the other. Such is the nature of Triple-A.

We begin with a look at the starting pitchers.

      Mariners Rotation

  1. Felix Hernandez
  2. Erik Bedard
  3. Jason Vargas
  4. Doug Fister
  5. (open)

Now, you alert readers notice that there is a big leap-of-faith in that rotation: assuming that Erik Bedard is going to be healthy. However, recent history suggests that will not be the case.

  More Realistic Mariners Rotation

  1. Felix Hernandez
  2. Jason Vargas
  3. Doug Fister
  4. (open)
  5. (open)

The M’s have decided to bring a huge number of starting pitching candidates to fill those last two slots. Here is the list of pitchers who will battle for the back-end of the Mariners rotation. There are so many of them, I could have easily overlooked a player or two.

  • Michael Pineda
  • David Pauley
  • Nate Robertson
  • Luke French
  • Chris Seddon
  • Charlie Haeger
  • Yusmeiro Petit
  • Fabio Castro

Two of the above eight will make the Mariners rotation, and the rest will either come to Tacoma, or be let go. If nobody is released that leaves six starting pitchers in Tacoma.

(Some could work in relief in Tacoma or Seattle – Petit did it for much of 2010, and Seddon, while an all-star as a starter in Tacoma, was a reliever when he was in Seattle. It’s feasible that Pineda could open in the bullpen and move into the rotation later, to conserve his workload.)

There are even more starting pitchers in Tacoma’s mix.

Likely Tacoma Rotation

  1. Blake Beavan
  2. Mauricio Robles
  3. (open)
  4. (open)
  5. (open)

So, we have two spots certainly taken, and six coming down from the Mariners. But wait a minute – there are three more starting pitchers who did good things at Class-AA last year, and are in line for promotions: Steven Hensley, Anthony Vasquez, and Jarret Grube.

The way I see it, there are at least eleven starting pitchers deserving a spot in Tacoma, and only five slots. This is a roster crunch that the Mariners will have two months to sort out during spring training.

Other subjects:

  • The Triple-A Baseball National Championship Game is on the move: it will be played in Albuquerque this year, and it will rotate sites.
  • Larry Stone wrote a blog post about Ichiro not batting third.
  • When John McGrath gets going, you know you’re in for a treat. “A-Rod In A Buttery, Hot Mess”… he was being fed “like a goat at the children’s petting zoo”… just go read the whole thing for yourself, you won’t regret it.
  • The Mariners signed Felix’s older brother Moises Hernandez to a minor league contract. Moises is 26 and also a pitcher, he played previously in the Braves and Orioles systems. He’s done well at the Class-A level but hasn’t had success at the higher levels yet. The move made Jeff Sullivan happy.
  • Has anyone seen ex-Rainiers Craig Griffey or Shawn Buhner recently?*
  • The Memphis Redbirds knew they wanted to have a “Guaranteed Win Night” but they couldn’t decide what date to have it. So, they consulted a psychic. How awesome is that? If I was the Iowa Cubs, I wouldn’t even show up on August 1.

Beautiful day here in Tacoma – we could play a double-dip today.

* It would take a lengthy search through an old scorebook, but I seem to recall Shawn Buhner having a monster performance to single-handedly win a game for us once. 

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7 Responses to No Shortage Of Arms

  1. Michael says:

    Thought Mike
    Do you see Michael Pineda being in Seattle Mariners rotation in 2011 as Jamie Navarro is their bullpen coach and he has been working with Michael Pineda through out the whole minor league system is that correct???

    Thought what the good chance on guys accepting an asignment to Tacoma??

  2. Mike says:

    Wow, is it possible to have too much of a good thing? Me thinks not! Think if Bedard actually stays healthy!

  3. Jon Shields says:

    Mike–

    I can clearly remember a Spring Training game that featured Shawn Buhner at 1B, Jay Buhner in RF, Ken Griffey Jr. in CF and Craig Griffey in LF. People don’t seem to believe me, however. This is something that happened, right?

  4. Michael says:

    he Mariners signed Manny Delcarmen to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training according to the team. He is represented by Jim Masteralexis and can remain under Seattle’s control as arbitration eligible player in 2012.

  5. Michael says:

    San Diego Padres resigned former Tacoma Rainer pitcher RHP Mike Koplove…

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