Updated Saturday, March 27, 10:33 PM PT

ROTATIONBULLPENCATCHERSINFIELDERSOUTFIELDERS
Marco GonzalesRafael MonteroTom MurphyEvan WhiteMitch Haniger
James PaxtonKendall GravemanLuis TorrensDylan MooreJose Marmolejos
Yusei KikuchiAnthony MisiewiczKyle SeagerTaylor Trammell
Chris FlexenKeynan MiddletonJ.P. CrawfordSam Haggerty
Justus SheffieldCasey SadlerTy FranceJake Fraley
Justin DunnNick Margevicius
Will Vest
Drew Steckenrider

The club optioned out RHRs Joey Gerber and Erik Swanson Saturday, leaving the final spot in the bullpen to right-handers Drew Steckenrider and Domingo Tapia, officially. Both have performed well, but Tapia has made just two appearances in ‘A’ games to Steckenrider’s seven. Tapia is already on the 40-man, Steckenrider is not, but the official placement of Ken Giles on the 60-day IL will open a spot for the club.

I would have gone with Gerber or Steckenrider here — but I thought Seattle would go with the younger player with more upside, the one they control for five more years, rather than the upside of selling Steckenrider at the deadline for little return.

Tapia has options, so they’ll be able to call upon all three righties that lose out to Steckenrider, which is clearly the way the club is going.

With the news Saturday that centerfielder Kyle Lewis is doubtful for Opening Day, I feel comfortable making the assumption he will see the IL and won’t be on the ODR. I’ve replaced him with the player whose name I hate typing, but this being the final roster projection, let’s pull no punches.

With Lewis out, I expect Taylor Trammell to start in center on April 1, but do not believe Lewis’ situation impacts that of Jarred Kelenic at all.

As you can see, I still see Justin Dunn over Nick Margevicius for the No. 6 spot in the rotation with the latter serving as the long man out of the bullpen.

If it were my choice, considering the minor league season does not begin for an additional 33 days, I would do the same, but if Dunn struggles to get through five innings and continues to battle with control and command problems, I’m sending him to Triple-A in May.

One thing not discussed much with Dunn these days — because there are so many other things to dissect — is his lack of a third pitch. Sure, he could go curveball and slider, but he does not have a pitch for left-handed batters, which puts a ton of pressure on his fastball command and the consistency of the slider that’s looked so good this spring.

Last Updated on March 27, 2021 by Jason A. Churchill

Image courtesy of Sue Ogrocki, licensed via AP
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Jason A. Churchill

Churchill founded Prospect Insider in 2006 and spent several years covering prep, college and pro sports for various newspapers, including The News Tribune and Seattle PI. Jason spent 4 1/2 years at ESPN and two years at CBS Radio. He now serves as the Executive Copy Editor at Data Skrive, a tech company that manipulates data to provide automated content to clients including the AP, BetMGM, USA Today, and ESPN. Find Jason's baseball podcast, Baseball Things, right here.