Pitchers and Catchers

On Wednesday, the Seattle Mariners pitchers and catchers officially report to spring training camp in Peoria, Arizona.

The Mariners have really loaded up the invite list for major league spring training this year, and the competition for spots on both the Mariners and the Rainiers roster is going to be fierce.

The Mariners have officially invited 31 healthy pitchers to spring training. That’s a lot.

Figure that the M’s are going to carry 11 or 12 pitchers on opening day. Then the Rainiers are going to have 12 pitchers on opening day. That means that about seven pitchers are going to be invited to major league spring training – and then won’t even make the Triple-A roster.

In Peoria, the biggest battles will be for the Mariners #5 starter role, and the long men in the major league bullpen.

Candidates for the Mariners fifth starter include Doug Fister, Luke French, Garrett Olson, Yusmeiro Petit, Jason Vargas, and Nick Hill.

Unless injuries hit during camp, there is only going to be one winner in that battle. The remainder will fight for a major league bullpen job, or else head to Tacoma and be in the Rainiers rotation.

There is additional competition to make the Rainiers rotation. Chris Seddon is back and in camp. Triple-A veteran David Pauley was signed to a minor league contract. Ryan Feierabend is progressing in his return from elbow surgery, and he is still only 24 years old. Danny Cortes is a hard thrower who might be ready for a promotion from Double-A.

And then there is Steven Shell. Some of you may remember the scary moment when he was hit in the cheek by a line drive late last season. Well, Steven healed up, and he spent the winter pitching in the highly competitive Venezuelan League. Shell was used as a starter there, and the Mariners re-signed him and brought him to camp.

As for the catchers, well… let’s save that or Wednesday.

15 Responses to Pitchers and Catchers

  1. Corey says:

    Mike, I would like to know who your, say, five favorite Rainiers to cover since you started with the team and why. Also, for extra credit, your favorite beat writer?

  2. Zach Sokolik says:

    Hey Curto! Just saw a link to your site on USS Mariner. I will be following your blog this season. Go Rainiers!

    -Zach Sokolik a.k.a. Zach “The Nightmare” Brock

  3. Michael says:

    Is there any news on Andy Baldwin and Robert Rohrbaugh? Rohrbaugh was pretty good two years ago, and then seemed to disappear into an injury cloud . . . are either of these guys likely to get back with the Rainiers?

    Glad to have a Rainiers blog going – after No Rhubarb died out, I was rather bereft!

    • Mike Curto says:

      Two of my favorite pitchers, because they work quickly and throw strikes. Both will be in minor league camp this year but as I wrote above the roster spots aren’t going to be easy to get. Baldwin pitched well in Puerto Rico this winter, including a gem in a key playoff game. Rohrbaugh had shoulder problems last year but looks to be healthy in 2010.

  4. gloo540 says:

    You mentioned the usual suspects as far as the guys fighting for the 5th starter position. Who can we expect to maybe see as a righty/lefty relief pitcher role from Tac?

    Very excited to have another blog to follow on paid time during work!!


  5. Michael says:

    Yusmeiro Petit: Pretty much count the guy out when the guy been DFA and off the 40 man roster and who are the mariners willing to risk if he has good spring..

    Though good post, hoping to go to some alot more game on my off day at the Seattle Mariners as looking foward to seeing some rainers game against some team and get more autograph.

  6. Wells says:

    Excited about the blog, Mike!

  7. Elpato says:

    Thanks for the info mike look forward to reading your insights on the raniers.

  8. Hey, Mike! Glad to see you representin’ in the Greater M’s Blogosphere.

    It seems to me that that is an unusually large number of pitchers to have in camp, maybe surpassed only by the Blue Jays this year. I wonder if it portends a Spring Training deal or two.

    BTW, I am headed to ST on March 17, through the 22nd. If you are there then, let’s grab a beer.

  9. JimO says:

    Mike–my wife and I are big fans, wish you did the Mariners games. I greatly respect the fact you know about all the prospects at all levels. I also like the fact you know when they are playing Fugazi at other stadiums. Thanks for helping making Rainiers games a good time.
    I still wish Tui and Saunders were making this team, I always root for the young guys coming up.

  10. Michael says:

    A random question – my apologies if this is out of place.

    Has Denny Stark retired for good? Any chance we’ll see him in the minors this year? Any news on him would be valued. Thanks!

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