The Mariners are just 16 days away from the it-counts-in-the-standings opener in Japan on March 20, and the team has cut down its spring training a little bit. Four pitchers and one hitter have been moved over to the minor league side.
- Optioned to Tacoma: RHP Ruben Alaniz, LHP Ricardo Sanchez, 1B Joey Curletta
- Reassigned to Minor League Camp: RHP Max Povse, RHP Jack Anderson
Annual spring training reminder: “optioned to Tacoma” mean the player is on the 40-man roster, and 2019 is now one of the three option years a 40-man player is allowed. The “to Tacoma” part is not binding – the player can ultimately be assigned anywhere in the farm system.
“Reassigned to minor league camp” means the player is not on the 40-man roster (he was a non-roster invitee to spring training), and these players can be assigned to any minor league affiliate come opening day.
Now that we have the spring training transaction primer out of the way, let’s look at the moves.
Curletta and Povse have not been playing due to injury. Curletta has been sidelined by a tight oblique. I spoke with Rainiers manager Daren Brown over the weekend and he said it is not serious and he does not think it will linger deep into the regular season (which is always a possibility with oblique injuries), but it’s a bummer that Curletta didn’t get to play in any games during his first major league spring training. Curletta has been pegged as the Rainiers starting first baseman all offseason.
Max Povse has had shoulder soreness and is expected to begin throwing later this week, according to a brief report in the Seattle Times. If healthy he is in contention for a spot on the Rainiers pitching staff.
Ricardo Sanchez is a very young (21) starting pitching prospect who may ultimately be ticketed for Double-A, but Triple-A starting pitching is in short supply in Peoria so maybe he’ll break with Tacoma.
Ruben Alaniz and Jack Anderson are relievers. Alaniz has pitched in Triple-A before and appears likely to be assigned to the Rainiers this year. Anderson is a submariner who pitched for Class-A Modesto last year and is probably ticketed for Double-A Arkansas.
We will be discussing the Tacoma Rainiers bullpen situation more thoroughly on Thursday, in our final position preview post of the spring. You can scroll down if you missed any of the previous position posts, which we have been rolling out for the past five weeks.
- Rainiers manager Daren Brown did an in-game TV interview during the Root broadcast of the M’s game on Thursday and discussed a few of the prospects we’ll see in Tacoma this year.
- The Mariners newfound minor league talent makes watching the later innings of spring training games more fun, Ryan Divish writes.
- The Seattle Times has an in-depth look at Shed Long, who has an old-school approach at the plate and a Hall of Famer as a coach.
- Veteran ball writer Larry Stone has spent the last week at Mariners spring training, and here are his eight key observations.
- Felix Hernandez is being encouraged to throw his curveball more frequently this season.
- Yusei Kikuchi continues to adjust his routine to the American style as he pitched three more innings on Saturday, allowing two runs.
- From the exhibition games: yesterday four different possible Rainiers relievers each pitched a scoreless inning in a 7-3 win over the Diamondbacks… after a bunch of clean games in a row, the M’s played their first “clunker” of the spring in an 8-0 loss to the Royals on Saturday. Dan Vogelbach‘s hot spring is detailed in the story… Justus Sheffield pitched two scoreless innings in a 7-3 win over the Brewers on Friday… and on Thursday both Kyle Lewis and Braden Bishop homered in an 8-3 win over the White Sox.
- Former Rainiers and Mariners infielder Brad Miller signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers, which means he could be in the PCL playing for Oklahoma City this season.