We started our around-the-diamond look at possible 2011 Tacoma Rainiers players with the two most difficult positions to track, starting pitchers and relief pitchers.
Today, we do something much easier: a look at the catchers.
Seattle and Tacoma will each carry two catchers, there are four candidates, and we even have one definite assignment.
- Miguel Olivo
It’s a spring training battle to win the Mariners back-up catcher job. The candidates are Adam Moore, Josh Bard, and Chris Gimenez. The two who don’t make it will open the season in Tacoma.
Moore is the prospect, and he has the advantage of being on the Mariners 40-man roster (Bard and Gimenez are non-roster invitees), but he has not had success at the major league level yet.
Bard is much more experienced than Moore, and he’s considered to be a better receiver. Bard was in Seattle for the majority of last year and he knows the pitchers. He definitely has a shot at winning the job.
I’ve never seen Gimenez play, but I’ve read that he is not a defensive whiz. However, he can play multiple positions: he has experience in right field, left field, first base, and third base. This positional flexibility works to his advantage.
The easy decision would be to keep Moore in the majors, putting off any 40-man roster decisions until later in the season. Bard and Gimenez know that injuries happen at the catcher position, and one of them – if not both – will get called up eventually.
- The News Tribune’s Larry LaRue has a story on Dustin Ackley’s defense, and the coaching he is getting from Jack Wilson and Robby Thompson. Also, in the notes at the end, we learn that Mike Carp lost 15-20 pounds during the off-season.
- More from LaRue on knuckleball pitcher Charlie Haeger, who is on the Seattle/Tacoma bubble during spring training. Also in this story is a note on outfield prospect Johermyn Chavez, who we’ll see in Tacoma eventually.
- In the Everett Herald, Mariners beat writer Kirby Arnold has a couple of good ones today: a feature on potential Rainiers reliever Royce Ring, which led to a fun story about ballplayer’s cars.
- Larry Stone continues his Florida Tour: today we have a story on Don Wakamatsu, and another on Don Zimmer and Casey Kotchman.
- I cannot wait until the guys on the team see what’s happening when we check into our Las Vegas hotel on Memorial Day weekend: we are there the same weekend as Punk Rock Bowling – and our team hotel is right smack-dab in the middle of it! My goal: a photo of Daren Brown, Dwight Bernard and Alonzo Powell, sitting at the hotel bar, completely surrounded by people with gigantic, spiked & dyed mohawks.* This is going to be infinitely better than last year, when we shared the Reno hotel with a Justin Bieber concert. There is potential for an epic photo blog!
- Here’s another feature on
Brodie DownsTom Wilhelmsen.
- The Mariners have the #2 choice in the draft – a real opportunity to instantly acquire an impact player. Keith Law breaks down the potential #1 choices in his ESPN Insider column. All of us broadcasters are pulling for Bubba Starling!
- In the Fresno Bee, Marek W. (who has impeccable music taste) takes a stab at predicting the Fresno Grizzlies opening day roster.
- In Omaha, Mark Nasser found himself a broadcasting buddy.
- Padres outfielder Cameron Maybin set off a rather amusing storm with a recent tweet.
- New NCAA bat regulations could have a big impact on the college game. I wish they could afford to just go to wood; it would help the whole sport.
- Here’s an update on PGE Park from baseball-hating Portlandia.
- Friend of the program Rick Walter has started his own Tacoma sports blog, called Grit City Sports. Check it out!
Have a great weekend.
* What would be even more awesome: if Brown shocked us all and broke out a ratty old black leather jacket with a Subhumans patch on the back.