The Seattle Mariners minor league spring training camp opened this morning. Most of the players who will be on the Rainiers opening day roster have already been in camp for weeks because they were invited to major league spring training. But there are a few players who will be in Tacoma this year who are just reporting today.
We need to finish up our positional roundtable with a look at the outfielders who are candidates to make the Rainiers roster, so let’s do it. As usual, we’ll start with Seattle:
- Ichiro – RF
- Franklin Gutierrez – CF
- TBD – LF
- TBD – fourth outfielder
The leading candidates for the Mariners starting left fielder and extra outfielder are Michael Saunders and Milton Bradley. As it stands right now, I expect both players to make the Mariners roster. Of course, things can change, but let’s go with that for now.
There may be an opening for one more outfielder in Seattle – especially if that player is able to play multiple defensive positions, such as Matt Tuiasosopo, or is a defensive wizard like Ryan Langerhans.
- Carlos Peguero – RF
- Greg Halman – CF
- TBD – LF
- TBD – fourth outfielder
I think Peguero is a lock to make the Rainiers. He spent all of last year at Class-AA and hit .254 with 23 home runs and 56 walks (yes, with an unsightly 178 strikeouts). He just turned 24 so he is a little old to go back to Jackson.
Other outfielders in the Tacoma mix:
Mike Wilson – the MVP of the PCL Championship Series, Wilson re-signed with the Mariners and could certainly be a starter in Tacoma.
Gabe Gross and Ryan Langerhans – veteran major league outfielders hoping to latch on with Seattle. Each is in camp on a minor league contract and could conceivably accept an assignment to Tacoma.
Mike Carp, Matt Tuiasosopo, Johan Limonta, and Nate Tenbrink. We discussed all four in the corner infielder post – these guys are all more frequently thought of as infielders, but each of them can play in the outfield.
Johermyn Chavez – the 22-year-old put up video game numbers at Class-A High Desert last year and has opened eyes in spring training, but he is ticketed to start the season at Class-AA Jackson. We might see him in Tacoma at some point this summer – or maybe not until 2012.
Much of this situation depends upon who the Mariners keep in Seattle, and if Gross and/or Langerhans is willing to accept a Triple-A assignment. Only time will tell…
One thing is for certain: if the Rainiers go through the 2011 season with an outfield of Mike Wilson, Greg Halman, and Carlos Peguero the race will be on to see which falls first: the franchise home run record, or the franchise strikeout record.
- In case you haven’t been by the Rainiers main site recently, there is some news: the team announced that individual game tickets will go on sale on March 21. Now, I’m not sure how much demand there is going to be initially, but I have a hunch that reserved seats for Opening Night and the big weekend games are going to sell much more quickly than in the past. If you are a fan who comes out to a couple of Friday night games each season, purchasing advance tickets is probably a wise idea this year.
- You don’t have to buy tickets if you are working at the stadium. Unfortunately, you have to work and can’t sit and watch the game. If that still sounds like fun, check out the Rainiers Job Fair. The new ballpark means the team is looking for more workers this season.
- The Business Examiner has a feature on Cheney Stadium’s progress, with several key details.
- Larry Stone welcomed the Mariners minor leaguers to camp. He also wrote a column on Michael Pineda that focuses on his relationship with pitching coach Jaime Navarro.
- The Mariners left field position is wide open, and how this plays out will affect the Rainiers. Larry LaRue has the run-down.
- Harmonically converging with today’s blog post, Jason Churchill wrote a detailed piece “Scouting Michael Saunders.”
- Here’s another story on Dustin Ackley’s progress at second base.
- ESPN’s Keith Law was at the Mariners game yesterday. If you are an ESPN Insider, you can read his negative scouting report on Michael Pineda’s performance.
- Mariners General Manager Jack Z very, very emphatically says that Felix Hernandez is all ours, and he ain’t goin’ nowhere.
- Other PCL teams have prospects, too: Fresno outfielder Thomas Neal looks good, and Reno may get outfielder A.J. Pollock sometime this summer.
- Here is a terrific spring training photo of a fan catching a bat while not spilling his beer, with commentary from a professional sports photographer. Check it out!
- The Salt Lake Bees are hosting the Triple-A All-Star Game this summer, and apparently the theme is going to be “Awful 1980s Music.”
- The Round Rock Express announced their promotional giveaway item schedule, and sadly we will not be there on Chick-fil-A Night. However, it looks like I will become the proud owner of a Round Rock Express Kid’s Backpack, so I’ve got that going for me – which is nice.
Check back later this week, as I may have a Very Special Episode of Mike… Off-Mic.