Typically the majority of the jobs on a given big-league roster that are ‘open’ have a heavy favorite, and there are few ‘open’ job with which to begin. The Seattle Mariners’ roster is just about solved, but there are a few questions yet to be answered, including the following:

  • Will the club carry a first-base platoon?
    as I have noted many times, it’s not a great idea, but if the club does carry one, there are several candidates in camp.
  • Who will win the first-base platoon gig?
    The candidates are: Jesus Montero, Dae Ho Lee, Stefen Romero and Ed Lucas. Romero brings the versatility of having played second base, third base and the outfield in the minors.
  • Who will serve as the utility infielder?
    Luis Sardinas and Shawn O’Malley are the two top candidates, with Chris Taylor also in the mix to some level.
  • Who will win the No. 5 spot in the rotation?
    It appears the battle is between right-hander Nate Karns and lefty James Paxton. Both have options remaining, but the loser also could start the year in the bullpen.
  • Below is the way-too-early-to-tell edition, but I’ll update this in two weeks, then again the day before the rosters are typically announced.
Projected M’s 25-Man Roster: Way-Too-Early Edition
Pos. Player
SP Felix Hernandez R/R
SP Hisashi Iwakuma
SP Wade Miley L/L
SP Taijuan Walker R/R
SP Nathan Karns R/R
RP Ryan Cook R/R
RP Evan Scribner R/R
RP Vidal Nuno
RP Tony Zych
RP Charlie Furbush L/L
RP Joaquin Benoit R/R
RP Steve Cishek
1B Adam Lind
2B Robinson Cano L/R
3B Kyle Seager L/R
SS Ketel Marte
C Chris Iannetta R/R
DH Nelson Cruz R/R
OF Nori Aoki
OF Leonys Martin L/R
OF Seth Smith
C Steve Clevenger L/R
IF Shawn O’Malley S/R
OF Franklin Gutierrez R/R
1B/DH Jesus Montero
Jason A. Churchill


  1. Paul — Being healthy in March doesn’t mean he’s shaken the injury bug. It will come down to Karns and Paxton, and it won’t be based on health, or even numbers in March. Which arm do they believe is the best bet for the balance of the season? That’s who they’ll go with. The other goes to the minors, most likely. Many times these “battles” work themselves out — someone will get hurt, either Karns, Paxton or another starter — but if not, I have a hard time literally wasting the final option on Karns knowing Paxton’s probably not going to make more than 20-25 starts.

    Either way, if healthy, both will get starts in the regular season. Last season, the club that used the least number of starters was Pittsburgh. They used eight, EIGHT. The MLB average was 10.6. The average for 2015 playoff teams? 11.

  2. If Paxton is healthy, I don’t see how he isn’t in the rotation? I am sure rooting for him to stay healthy this year. I like Sardinas over O’Malley too. Otherwise your projections are spot!

  3. What you described, Josh, in your second sentence is Luis Sardinas. Better glove than Taylor, even, and he’s done more at the plate in his limited time in bigs than has Taylor. Either, or O’Malley, make sense as one of the benchies. Of course, if the club rolls with Romero as the RH 1B, they should pass on O’Malley since Romero is a passable, short-stint outfield option.

  4. Sounds about right. I feel like Taylor is the better player in the infield competition duentonhisbsolid glove and not-completely-empty bat. But I can see O’Malley because there will probably be a need for the help in the outfield defensively.

    Paxton seems motivated and I think he’s the better talent, but he has to be right from a health standpoint.

    I’m giving Jesus the nod on the bench too. There’s still that little bit of hope that he takes another step forward that in not ready to give up on. He’s the best internal 1B option after this season, which isn’t saying much.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.