Stress Time In Minor League Camp

It seems to happen every spring, but this year more so than others.

Right now the Mariners have too many upper-level players in their minor league camp. A Triple-A team can carry a max of 25 players, and there are about 35 players here who can make a legitimate claim that they should be one of the 25.

This means that there are going to be some disappointed players reporting to Double-A Jackson – and there are going to be some even more disappointed players who are sent home without a job.

The most impacted positions are starting pitcher (I have seven Triple-A starters listed right now, which is two too many), outfield (no room to promote anyone from Double-A, and the entire High Desert outfield from last year should be moved up to AA, causing a sandwich effect at Jackson), and catcher (Tacoma can’t carry Zunino, Paulino, Sucre and Bantz).

The coaches – who are my friends – are tight-lipped about how this is going to be handled, which is the right thing when people’s jobs are at stake. In many cases decisions are made above Daren Brown and Dwight Bernard. Director of Player Development Chris Gwynn, the Mariners team of professional scouts, and sometimes even Jack Zduriencik will make final decisions on where minor league players will start the season.

Opening Day in the PCL is one week from today (Tacoma opens at Fresno). The roster will be set before then – probably this weekend, or maybe Monday when the big league club begins play.

The Triple-A squad will stay in Arizona until Wednesday, then fly to Fresno to begin PCL play.

Today is my final day in Arizona, I fly home on Friday morning. I’ll be checking out the Mariners vs. Padres Triple-A game (Tacoma vs Tucson) at 1:00. I may not have time to post my thoughts on that game until I get home on Friday, due to a busy schedule today. Anyway, check back often – baseball season is upon us, and this blog will be updated on an (almost) daily basis.

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One Response to Stress Time In Minor League Camp

  1. robbz mama says:

    Thanks for a great update. Can’t help but notice a kind of sad tone when you talk about the fact that there are simply too many guys at camp and some won’t come up to rainland. I just have to put in a personal vote for Bantz to stay with us.

    Anyway, the reality of the situation must make things so tense. Am I right? Camaraderie v. Do I keep my job. Wow.

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