While it is nice to make the opening day roster, there will turnover in the coming weeks as players come off the DL, and somebody is released or sent to the minors to make room.
The season opens with pitchers David Aardsma (15 day), Shawn Kelley (60 day), and Maurice Robles (60 day) on the DL along with Franklin Gutierrez (15 day) and third baseman Mike Mangini (15).
Aardsma and Gutierrez will be on the M’s at some point, while the others are likely to head to Tacoma
Both Aardsma and Gutierrez will force two players to Tacoma in Pierce County, just down the road from Seattle.
Making the 25 man squad is one thing, keeping your spot is another. Performance and how many options a player has will determine the comings and goings.
And there are players on the Tacoma roster trying to impress in case a Mariner should struggle out of the gate.
Oddly there were more changes on the pitching staff which was their strong suit last year. The anemic offense saw little change.
Jack Cust at DH, Brendan Ryan at second and Miquel Olivo at catcher are new additions to the starting nine. And Adam Kennedy and Luis Rodriquez made the 25 man roster as back up infielders. Rodriquez hit .180 in spring and barely over .200 with San Diego last season. He is the proverbial 25th man, his spot precarious.
The twelve man pitching staff-do they really need 12-has five new additions. Rookie Michael Pineda will be the fifth starter, while Aaron Laffey, Chris Ray, and rookies Josh Lueke and Tom Wilhelmsen join the bullpen.
Langerhans released during the off season, signed as non roster invitee, will start in centerfield on opening day as Gutierrez’s stomach problems continue. It is one big bellyache. Michael Saunders will be a back up outfielder.
It is tempting to say this years team looks better than the 2010 edition because it is true, but many thought last years team would contend for the division title. No one thinks that this season.
The season may bring choppy waters for the good ship Mariner, bit it would be nice to see them leave port with smooth sailing.