Assuming the Mariners go with 12 pitchers to start season, that leaves 13 position players to open the 2012 campaign. That may be difficult if the Mariners go with three catchers, a very likely possibility.
Olivo will be the catcher. Manager Eric Wedge has said that Jesus Montero will get playing time behind the plate and is getting a lot of work in camp. But he is likely to be DH most of the time. They also want to see what Adam Moore, who was plagued with injuries can do, and they traded for Rays John Jaso, so they have four catchers, with Jaso the only left-handed batter. With Montero at DH they will need a third catcher in case of Olivo injury as losing the DH Montereo to catch means the pitcher bats, so three at the backstop is likely. Since Jaso is the only lefty he has the edge to make the team.
Another unsettled spot is third base. Seager has no power, but could hit for average and Alex Liddi has power, but will strike out a lot. Liddi is getting a lot of work at first, so they want him to back up both third and first. Figgins, unless he has great spring might not sail with team when season opens. Seager can back up at short and second. So figure Smoak at first, Ackley at second, Ryan at short and Seager and Liddi with former Mariner Carlos Guillen a chance to back up. But five is the number on the infield.
Can Liddi power Mariners?
That leaves five outfielders. Ichiro, Franklin Gutierrez, and Mike Carp the most likely starters. Casper Wells and probably Treyvon Robinson as back ups. If the Mariners go with six infielders, a real possibility, then they go with four outfielders.
The Mariners could go with 11 pitchers and open another spot on the infield. And of course should Liddi not hit in spring and Figgins does, and if any other player opens or closes the eyes of Wedge, things will change. Spring training is like Broadway tryouts for the chorus. It is time for auditions.