Merry Mariner Christmas

This off-season the Seattle Mariners have received several new players to add onto the roster for the upcoming 2018 however we hope that they can add on a couple starting pitchers.

So far we are still waiting but we never know they could be in the stockings today or we might have to wait for a few days. They could be late being delivered in shipping as well.

At least the Mariners picked up first baseman Ryon Healy from the Oakland A’s and second baseman turned center fielder Dee Gordon from the Miami Marlins. They also signed relief pitcher Juan Nicasio to a two year contract. He is expecting to be a key to the Mariners setup man in the bullpen along with Nick Vincent and David Phelps. Nicasio and Vincent will likely pitch an inning while Phelps may go two innings. Nicasio will be able to close when Edwin Diaz will be unable to do so.

The Mariners have picked up a couple other hard throwers in Nick Rumbelow from the Yankees and Shawn Armstrong from the Indians. They will be competing with other relief pitchers like Danny Altavilla for remaining two spots in the bullpen. The Mariners are planning to go with eight relievers to start the season. They have left specialist Marc Rzepczynski and James Pazos returning. Pazos might be competing for that last spot as well if the Mariners aren’t sure to go with two or one left in the bullpen. The Mariners have two lefties that could consider being the long reliever if they don’t start in the rotation in Ariel Maranda and Marco Gonzales. According to general manager Jerry Dipoto the Mariners might go to a six man rotation later in the season so the long reliever could move into that spot. Of course this will depend on the performance of the five pitchers already expected to start and how much they will be used.

I expect that James Paxton and Mike Leake will both go long into the games. Pitching seven innings or at least one hundred pitches; this may go for Felix Hernandez as well. Whoever wins the fourth and fifth starter positions may go only five innings or six at the maximum. This will depend to whether the Mariners do pick up another starter as well.

Everything seems to fit far as the everyday lineup with Mike Zunino at catcher, Ryon Healy at first base, Robinson Cano at second, Kyle Seager at third and Jean Segura at shortstop. I see Zunino as a question mark whether he hits like he did early in the season or he is able to hit like he did in June and July. The outfield should be Ben Gamel in left, Dee Gordon in center and Mitch Haniger in right field. Guillermo Heredia may platoon with Gamel in left along with occasion in center and right. This will depend on his shoulder surgery he had at the end of the season.

I wish everyone in Mariner Land a Merry Christmas! Go M’s.

 

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Mariners Pick UP Three Pitchers

The Seattle Mariners pickup three pitchers during the winter meetings and two of the pitchers will either start in Tacoma or be in the backend of the bullpen. Right now the Mariners are expected to have thirteen pitchers to fill the 25 man roster so that means two bench players and backup catcher.

 

The first of the three pitchers acquired was reliever Shawn Armstrong traded for international pool money with the Cleveland Indians and then left handed starter Anthony Misiewicz from Tampa Bay also for pool money. Misiewicz likely start the season in Tacoma and later on Wednesday signed free agent reliever Juan Nicasio to a two year contract. Nicasio will be in the mix with Nick Vincent and David Phelps as late inning setup men. Nicasio can be used as a closer when Edwin Diaz is not available. This leaves Armstrong to compete for remaining two right handed relievers in the bullpen. Of course this may depend whether Ariel Miranda or Marco Gonzales is in the bullpen as the long reliever or not. In this case there would only be a spot for one right handed reliever. It will be quite the battle for that last right handed reliever spot for sure.

On Thursday morning the Mariners selected left handed hitting first baseman Mike Ford from the New York Yankees in the rule 5 draft. Ford has to make the Mariner the opening day roster according to the rules of the rule 5 or be asked to return to the Yankees and be on the roster all season long. Ford has been listed now as the Mariners twenty-second prospect so the likelihood of him making the opening roster is slim however not impossible. With the acquisition of Ryon Healy to play first base the Mariners won’t likely keep two first basemen. The Mariners will have only room for three bench players going with thirteen pitchers. Guillermo Heredia is expected to be the fourth outfielder who will platoon with Ben Gamel and backup both Dee Gordon and Mitch Haniger. The other spot will be the utility player who will play all the infield spots including first base and the backup catcher.

It looks like right now the Mariners are not going to go after another starting pitcher which in my mind is a mistake however Dipoto might not be playing his whole cards though he says that he is done. The reason I think it is a mistake that will cover if James Paxton, Felix Hernandez or Mike Leake get hurt for extended period of time. None of the other candidates who will fit the fourth and fifth spots come close except possibly Erasmo Ramirez.

The importance of the starting rotation is that all the starters can get through six innings at least. Anyway I guess we will see won’t we. Go M’s.

Baseball Winter Meetings

 

This week the Seattle Mariners along with all the other major league teams are in Florida for the winter meetings.

The Mariners have much of their staff including general manager Jerry Dipoto and manager Scott Servais. They each had press conferences over the state of the Mariners including the signing of Dee Gordon. Dipoto mentioned the off-season training of Felix Hernandez stating he is involved in flexibility for his shoulder and that he has pride to be the King that we all know. Servais talked some about Cano and his off-season training because of his lower body along with that he likes the everyday lineup pretty well.

The Mariners so far during the winter meetings have signed several minor league players who will probably play in Tacoma and have the depth in case of injuries. Dipoto is leaning toward going after starting pitching however would like to add an arm to the bullpen as well.

We all know that Ohtani signed with the Angels however he looks like he may need to have surgery. The thought could be Tommy Joh so it is a wonder if the Mariners bit the bullet by not signing him. Of course only time will tell. It is a wonder how much the teams knew about his health. I am sure they had doctors checking him over. It depends though on his agent how much information was given out.

It will be interesting to see if the Mariners will make a trade or a significant signing this week or this is just where they are building up into getting the right guy. It would be nice for us to hear a significant signing or trade regarding a pitcher to ease us going into Christmas. I hope we don’t have to wait until next year. So here we go M’s.

 

Mariners Win One Lose One

The Seattle Mariners on Thursday November 7 made a shocking trade with the Miami Marlins picking up second basemen Dee Gordon for some high draft picks plus a million dollars for international players allotment. This was to help the Mariners to continue going after Japan pitcher and hitter Ohtani. At this point the Mariners have the highest amount of money being a bit over $3 million however on Friday the Mariners got the bad news where they lost out on Ohtani who decided go to the Los Angeles Angels. I am sure had more to do with the city than the team. So now the Mariners have lost the guy they wanted to get however they did get an all-star player.

With Robinson Cano playing second base and Segura at shortstop where Gordon played previously the Mariners have decided to play him in centerfield. Having the speed he has since he lead the major leagues in stolen bases this last season with sixty I am sure he can make the move successfully. I figure if former Mariner Chris Taylor can play a good centerfield for the Dodgers without any prior experience so can Gordon. He is in the middle of his prime career to being twenty-nine years old. If he has trouble adjusting to centerfield the Mariners could always move him to left or right field as well. With his flexibility the Mariners can always play him at either second or shortstop in case of injury. The thought that Robinson Cano might be moved to first base Gordon transfer back to second would be easy. Of course I don’t see that happening for a year or two at the most. Also this most likely wouldn’t happen until Nelson Cruz is no longer on the team. At that point the Mariners could move recent acquired first baseman Ryon Healy to first base however this speculation is down the road anyway. If that does happen I would see Healy playing some first base still anyway having Cano being designated hitter at times as well to keep him refreshed.

Now we come to Ohtani. It is a disappointed that the Mariners were not able to get him especially to a division rival in the Angels. All we know about Ohtani is what we have heard from Dipoto and the other teams that have pushed to come after him. Whether he turns out to be a superstar as a pitcher and hitter only time will tell. His contract as well may allow the Mariners to pick him up down the road if things don’t work out in his favor with the Angels.

One thing I do know is that I am sure that Dipoto isn’t finished yet and he could come up with another surprise like in Gordon. This time I am sure it would be for a pitcher. I am sure he is in the works to get a starting pitcher however a relief pitcher would be nice as well. The Mariners still have the $3 million plus to go after an international player as well. The Mariners have to spend that money before the deadline in June to sign a player so I am sure they have a backup plan to do so.

We do hope that we can get a nice present for Christmas with an outstanding pitcher. It wouldn’t surprise me if it happens soon since Dipoto seems to strike when the fire is hot. Go M’s.