The Mariners set their 30-man travel party and flew to Japan yesterday afternoon. The play two exhibition games against Japanese teams (Saturday and Monday), and then they have the two season-opening games against Oakland on Wednesday and Thursday mornings.*
Here is the list of the 30 players the Mariners took to Japan:
- Pitchers (14)
- 49 BEAVAN, Blake
- 35 DELABAR, Steve
- 34 HERNANDEZ, Felix
- 18 IWAKUMA, Hisashi
- 23 KELLEY, Shawn
- 43 LEAGUE, Brandon
- 45 NOESI, Hector
- 50 RAMIREZ, Erasmo
- 59 RUFFIN, Chance
- 54 WILHELMSEN, Tom
- 41 FURBUSH, Charlie
- 44 LUETGE, Lucas
- 52 SHERRILL, George
- 38 VARGAS, Jason
- Catchers (4)
- 27 JASO, John
- 63 MONTERO, Jesus
- 30 OLIVO, Miguel
- 3 QUIROZ, Guillermo
- Infielders (7)
- 13 ACKLEY, Dustin
- 9 FIGGINS, Chone
- 61 KAWASAKI, Munenori
- 16 LIDDI, Alex
- 26 RYAN, Brendan
- 15 SEAGER, Kyle
- 17 SMOAK, Justin
- Outfielders (5)
- 20 CARP, Mike
- 4 PEGUERO, Carlos
- 55 SAUNDERS, Michael
- 51 SUZUKI, Ichiro
- 33 WELLS, Casper
Some of the Rainiers players who just missed out on the trip to Japan include outfielder Mike Wilson, infielders Vinnie Catricala and Luis Rodriguez, and left-handed pitcher Cesar Jimenez. Jimenez was removed from the 40-man roster and assigned to Tacoma.
Players who made the travel roster but might not make the 25-man roster for the Oakland games include Erasmo Ramirez, Guillermo Quiroz, and Carlos Peguero.
Also of note, they brought left-handed reliever Lucas Luetge with them – he’s the Rule 5 Draft guy who must make the 25-man roster or be returned to his original team, the Brewers. I see this as good news for Luetge – it would be odd for them to take him to Japan for the two exhibition games, and then return him to Milwaukee prior to the Oakland game on Wednesday.
- Here is Larry Stone’s article on the 30-man travel roster, with some additional details on the roster rules for these two games, if you really want to get into the minutia of it.
- Larry LaRue has story on the Japan trip with lots of player reaction.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times is already in Japan. He took a day trip to the Ichiro Museum – here is his blog post about getting there, and here we have his newspaper story on the museum itself.
- Baker was at the hotel when the Mariners checked in. Nobody complained about the 12-hour flight, but the bus ride from the airport to the hotel was apparently a real grinder. Funny how that works.
- Here’s a surprise: The News Tribune has commissioned former Seattle P-I columnist Art Thiel to write about the Japan trip. Here is his first report.
- Just in time for the M’s trip to Japan, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports wrote an absurd hatchet-job on Ichiro.
- No comment other than to point out a blog post declaring Alex Liddi is “Italy’s Most Eligible Bachelor.”
- Mariners Double-A broadcaster Chris Harris is on his first spring training trip, and they let him hang out in the broadcast booth.
- John Sickels “Prospect Notes” for Thursday included the Mariners third base guys: Alex Liddi, Kyle Seager, and Vinnie Catricala.
- The Washington Nationals are having a tough spring regarding injuries, and now former Rainiers slugger Mike Morse is added to the list.
- If you’re having a slow Friday, you pretty much have to read this article on former Mariners (and 16 other teams) Russell Branyan.
- Rosters are starting to shape up in the PCL. Arizona sent eight players to Reno, and as we wrote earlier this week, Tucson is going to be loaded.
Have a great weekend!
* I have not decided how to approach these 3:00 and 2:00 AM games. I could definitely stay up and watch the start of them, but I’d have no chance of staying awake for the whole games. Plus, I’m not so sure I want to mess up my sleep schedule that close to Rainiers opening day. On the other hand, waiting until the 7:00 pm replay seems unfulfilling. What to do, what to do?