Shortstop Settled

The Mariners received their first bad news of spring training camp on Saturday, when it was learned that shortstop Chris Taylor is going to miss four-to-six weeks with a broken right wrist. He suffered the injury on Friday, when he was hit by a pitch.

This ends the fight to see who will be the Mariners starting shortstop. Brad Miller wins by TKO.

There are ramifications in Tacoma, too. Taylor is going to be out until the beginning of May, so Ketel Marte and Shawn O’Malley will almost certainly play shortstop and second base for the Rainiers in April.

In fact, both players should get longer looks during major league spring training due to Taylor’s absence. In particular, Marte should get a lot more chances at shortstop during the remainder of March.

It’s a tough break for Taylor, who suffered a similar injury while he was with the Rainiers last season – although that time it was his pinkie finger, not his wrist.

On Sunday the Mariners announced their first round of spring cuts.

Optioned to Tacoma: Danny Hultzen, Julio Morban, Mike Kickham.

Reassigned to minor league camp: Sam Gaviglio, Stephen Landazuri, Forrest Snow, Steve Baron, Mike Dowd, Tyler Marlette, Jordy Lara.

Annual reminder on the spring training wording: “optioned to Tacoma” simply means the player is on the Mariners 40-man roster. It does not mean that the player will start the season with Tacoma – he could be assigned to any other team in the farm system during spring training. “Reassigned to minor league camp” are players who are signed to minor league contracts. They also can be assigned to any of the six Mariners minor league teams for opening day. The minor league rosters get settled at the end of camp.

Links:

  • We’ll start with the news story on Chris Taylor‘s injury.
  • Jeff Sullivan wrote about the Taylor injury in an amusing way. He also tackled the Mariners quest to score 700 runs this season.
  • In stories on the roster moves, manager Lloyd McClendon says that Danny Hultzen will start the season somewhere with warm weather. That could mean extended spring – or it could mean the Rainiers opening road trip to El Paso and Albuquerque.
  • Peter Gammons was in Mariners camp and he filed this glowing story.
  • Robinson Cano is back in Mariners camp after missing a week to attend his grandfather’s funeral.
  • The five-man competition to be the second left-hander in the Mariners bullpen is coming into focus, Bob Dutton writes.
  • There is a detailed story from the Associate Press on the Mariners closing their baseball academy in Venezuela.
  • Mariners Morning Musings from Ryan Divish: Sunday and Saturday.
  • Interesting post for Mariners fans (for ESPN Insider subscribers) by Keith Law on Taijuan Walker, with a bonus note on UW baseball product Jake Lamb.
  • From Baseball America’s minor league transactions, we learn that the Phillies have signed former Rainiers reliever Nick Hill.
  • Ex-Rainiers Matt Tuiasosopo and Blake Beavan were sent to minor league camp with their new teams (Orioles and Diamondbacks, respectively).
  • Omaha slugger Matt Fields – the Seattle native out of Rainier Beach High School – is making some noise in Kansas City Royals camp.
  • Federal Way’s Travis Ishikawa enjoyed his offseason as a Giants playoff hero.
  • If you are a bird or have any relatives who are birds, you are not going to want to watch what happened to this bird at Detroit Tigers camp. Birds have to look out for foul balls, too.

Monday is an off-day for the Mariners in Peoria (although many players will work out at the facility anyway). Our next blog update will come Wednesday.

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