Cactus League Game 22: White Sox at Mariners
Want to know what the Mariners Opening Day line-up is going to look like? Just look at today’s. With the club leaving for Japan tomorrow afternoon, Wedge has decided to roll out his starting nine for today’s game against the White Sox, and you can make a pretty safe bet that this is the line-up that will take the field against the A’s next week.
If you were wondering if Kyle Seager’s power surge down in Peoria had won him the third base job, you’ve got your answer. He’s probably played himself into more playing time than he might have had otherwise, but the team is apparently committed to the Figgins experiment, and with Saunders also having a strong spring, third base was the only spot for him to play. So, for now, Saunders plays and Seager sits.
My guess is that those two are going to end up splitting time, with Figgins bouncing between 3B and CF for the first few weeks of the year. And, if Figgins is bad, he won’t hold onto a regular job for very long.
We know that Seager, Kawasaki, and Jaso are going to make up 75% of the bench. We don’t yet know who the last guy is going to be. Casper Wells hasn’t had a very good spring, and there’s been some rumblings that he might begin the season in Triple-A. If Wedge sees Figgins as the guy who is going to split time with Saunders in CF, then he could justify not carrying Wells and keeping Carlos Peguero, his favorite pet toy. It’s a lousy idea, since Peguero is bad and any playing time he’d be given would come at the expense of a better player, but it sounds like it’s still a possibility. Both Wells and Peguero are likely to make the trip to Japan, and my guess is that they won’t finalize that roster spot until they have to.
Update: Shawn Camp has been released. Looks like Steve Delebar or Erasmo Ramirez might have beat him out for a job, or this could be an indication that they’re going to use Iwakuma in the bullpen. More to come.