The Mariners have 32 pitchers in training camp. The bullpen could be the strength of the staff as the rotation after King Felix is iffy.
Aardsma will miss part of the early season, but Chris Ray, former Oriole closer could fill that role while Aardsma recovers from surgery.
Setting up the closer should be Brandon League who had that role in 2010. The Mariners recently signed Manny Delcarmen, who had that role with Boston, and like Ray signed a minor league contract with a chance to make the club.
Dan Cortes and Josh Lueke are two rookies the Mariners are high on and 21 year old Jose Flores will get a chance as well.
From the left side the Mariners have Garrett Olson, but need one or more from the port side, so maybe Mauricio Robles, or Cesar Jimenez and Chris Seddon, both having spent time on the Mariners could fill that role.
And they have veterans Danny Bautista, Jamey Wright, and Justin Miller trying to win a spot.
These are only a few of the pitchers, but they have the best chance of making the team. They will need a strong bullpen and may need all those arms before the season is over, because the rotation does not look that strong.
Jason Vargas and Doug Fister both had some success last year, but one or both needs to improve in 2011. Michael Pineda will be given a chance to make the rotation. And if any of those three fail, Dave Pauley and Luke French are in the mix, along with a healthy Eric Bedard. There is also veteran Nate Robertson as a long shot.
Blake Beavan and Chaz Roe are both first round picks, but not Mariner picks; they came in trades for Cliff Lee and Jose Lopez. As first round picks they should have potential and there is always a chance that one of them could find a spot with a great spring.
All Mariner fans pray to Neptune, our seafaring protector. I don’t think we prayed enough last season. We need to start early, like now.