Cactus League Game 21: Mariners at Reds

marc w · March 20, 2012 at 11:18 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Yesterday’s 12-7 loss probably didn’t do a whole lot to settle the 25 man roster; Jason Vargas was terrible, but Jason Vargas isn’t on the bubble. Steve Delabar got blasted, but he was something of a longshot anyway. Kyle Seager homered, which might help his case to at least make the trip to Japan, but the hitting star was probably Justin Smoak who went 3-3 with two walks. The M’s figure to get more production out of the C, CF and 3B spots, though this is largely because they were historically bad in 2010-11. A full year of a healthy, productive Smoak really starts to transform the line-up, however. Instead of Ackley, Montero and please-be-good Ichiro followed by some question marks, they could start putting together a line-up that puts some pressure on pitchers.

Today the M’s play the Reds at Goodyear, as both Kevin Millwood and Hisashi Iwakuma attempt to get stretched out for the regular season. The M’s also play a minor league game, where Erasmo Ramirez will get several innings as well. The big position player battle today concerns the team’s 3B prospects, as Kyle Seager, Alex Liddi and Vinnie Catricala are all in the line-up. Charlie Furbush and George Sherrill should see some action against the Reds; both pitched yesterday, so this will be a good opportunity to see how Furbush fares in his new role and how ready Sherrill is for opening day.

The line-up:
1: Kawasaki (SS)
2: Rodriguez (2B)
3: Carp (LF)
4: Montero (C)
5: Seager (3B)
6: Liddi (1B)
7: Catricala (DH)
8: Peguero (RF)
9: Wells (CF)
SP: Kevin Millwood

Bob Condotta’s got a story on Franklin Gutierrez’s recuperation from a strained oblique. He’s still not able to throw, and doesn’t know when he’ll get the go-ahead to do so. So, uh, go Mike Saunders!

The M’s are scheduled to make another round of cuts today, as they fly to Japan on Thursday. They’ve got 39 players in camp, and several key battles for the last few spots. Obviously, the bullpen’s the most wide-open, especially after the release of Kuo. I’d guess Chance Ruffin and Steve Delabar haven’t done enough to keep them on the 25-man to start the year, and that Cesar Jimenez is probably not long for the active roster either. 3B’s the other big problem to solve. I think Seager’s on the team, forcing Catricala and probably Liddi down. Keeping Kawasaki means they can’t carry a bench bat like Peguero or Liddi, and Kawasaki has the upper hand over Luis Rodriguez. Liddi/Peguero probably makes the trip to Japan as a member of the taxi squad, but don’t figure to be a part of the 25-man roster at this time. The other big decisions are the #5 starter and whether to go with an 11- or 12-man ‘pen.

Go M’s.


18 Responses to “Cactus League Game 21: Mariners at Reds”

  1. DarkKnight1680 on March 20th, 2012 11:36 am

    So the 25 man roster on opening day, assuming 12 pitchers:

    c: Olivo, Jaso, Montero
    1b: Smoak
    2b: Ackley
    SS: Ryan, Kawasaki
    3b: Figgins, Seager
    LF: Wells, Carp
    CF: Saunders
    RF: Ichiro
    SP: Hernandez, Vargas, Noesi, Beaven, Millwood
    RP: Iwakuma, Furbush, Sherrill, Wilhelmsen, Kelley, Camp, League

    That’s my guess anyway. Hitters are not organized to show starters, obviously.

  2. Iowa Ms Fan on March 20th, 2012 11:50 am


    I’d agree with everything except I think Furbush goes to Tacoma and Luetge stays in Seattle.

    May be off base, but that’s my 2 cents anyway.

  3. DarkKnight1680 on March 20th, 2012 12:26 pm

    Iowa: I guess it’s possible. Ramirez may be in the mix as well and I wouldn’t say Millwood is a lock either. Certainly if they like Lucas enough then he’ll make it, since they can’t keep him otherwise. And they may want Furbush to get to keep starting which would likely mean Tacoma. I’d certainly be on board with that.

  4. Route 21 on March 20th, 2012 12:53 pm

    Was at the game yesterday in Peoria (as well as the rained out game Sunday).

    I can’t express the sense of palpable relief that I felt when, after being down 7-0 after two outs in the top of the 1st, that we tied it by the 3rd. That we could even _do_ that is such a novelty after the last two or three years.

    Small sample size alert, needless to say, but: Ichiro homers! Montero homers! Dustin Ackley continues to be adorable for my wife’s benefit. Go M’s!

  5. marc w on March 20th, 2012 1:03 pm

    And about an hour or less after I post this, it’s confirmed: Cesar Jimenez has been waived. Free 40-man spot! Come and get it! (It’ll probably go to Kawasaki).

  6. on March 20th, 2012 1:22 pm

    I believe I already commented on that.. maybe my post was lost in translation..

  7. DarkKnight1680 on March 20th, 2012 1:30 pm

    Your post likely got deleted for advertising your website.

    Seager doubles already. Honestly, I don’t know how the manager will be able to look at him with a straight face and tell him that Chone Figgins gives this team a better chance of winning baseball games once the season starts.

  8. on March 20th, 2012 1:32 pm

    Happy to see Seager hitting well.

    My bad, just wanted Mariners fans to have access to more information. Not trying to “advertise” anything

  9. on March 20th, 2012 1:56 pm

    Maybe even happier to see the performance of Millwood thus far. Iwakuma coming out of the pen today might be a sign of things to come.

  10. Ralph_Malph on March 20th, 2012 2:21 pm

    Strained oblique? I thought it was a torn pectoral.

  11. Westside guy on March 20th, 2012 3:14 pm

    I want Millwood to do well – mainly because it’s a foregone conclusion Wedge planned to carry him anyway for his veteran presence grittiness manliness.

  12. DarkKnight1680 on March 20th, 2012 3:30 pm

    Seager XBH again. Guy is just a flat out hitter. He’s hit at every level he’s ever been at. He can play 2b, 3b, and a bit of SS. He needs to be in the lineup every day.

  13. DarkKnight1680 on March 20th, 2012 3:49 pm

    And make it 3. If Figlet is starting over Seager in the regular season I’m going to blow a gasket.

  14. Westside guy on March 20th, 2012 4:21 pm

    DarkKnight – I’d take some precautionary measures regarding that gasket. I’m in agreement with you regarding Seager; but I fully expect Figgins to be the first Mariner batter of the upcoming season.

    Man, what a depressing thought. I’d love for the team to prove me wrong…

  15. on March 20th, 2012 4:24 pm

    Go M’s is right! Thank you to all who followed along on the live thread on my page.

    DarkKnight.. I know man it’s tough, but it’s only temporary. I think it’s clear that when the season starts so does the clock of Figgins to perform. It’s been ticking but he’s done enough to stick around, for now. Lets hope no matter who we put in there, they produce.

  16. Des71 on March 20th, 2012 5:04 pm

    I personally want Figgins to succeed so he could help the team win, and possibly become a more attractive to team looking to deal for him.

  17. marc w on March 20th, 2012 5:07 pm

    Ralph_Malph – of course; it was a torn pec, not an oblique. Sorry about that.

    Seager cemented his place on the team, you’d think, and Liddi’s going to at least make them consider taking him as a bench bat. I just don’t think he’d get enough PAs to justify the move, and given that I think they’ll keep Rule 5 guy Luetke, I think Liddi heads down to Tacoma for a while. Gotta be a hell of a lot more confident this year than last.

  18. djw on March 20th, 2012 6:13 pm

    bench bat like Peguero

    Ugh. Why would someone whose offensive performance was worse than our light hitting shortstop (and is projected to be worse again this year by two of the three projection systems offering projections for both of them) be described as a “bat”, bench or otherwise?

    Even if some in the organization see him this way, we shouldn’t encourage it by repeating the nonsense.

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