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.
- Ryan Divish has the news story on the Mariners setting the starting rotation.
- Larry Stone says that the Mariners have starting pitching depth in the minors.
- Yesterday the Mariners played the Dodgers, and it was Felix Hernandez vs. Clayton Kershaw. Would have been a marquee match-up if it wasn’t spring training.
- John McGrath has a column about some weird things that have happened this spring.
- The esteemed Tim Brown has an excellent column on former Rainiers pitcher Felix Hernandez.
- Over at Grantland, friend-of-the-blog Jonah Keri previewed the American League West.
- Here’s a post about baseball humidors and PCL park effects.